Failed asylum seeker whose deportation was blocked by do-gooder cabin crew rapes 15-year-old girl


A failed asylum seeker whose deportation from the UK was blocked when do-gooder cabin crew refused to fly him home has pleaded guilty to raping a 15-year-old girl.

Anicet Mayela, 40, who once campaigned outside a detention centre holding a sign stating, ‘migrants are not criminals’, could face life in jail after admitting the attack on the teenager.

He became a poster boy for anti-deportation campaigners after using human rights law to fight his return to the Republic of the Congo.

But Oxford Crown Court heard on Friday that there was a high level of “dangerousness” during the sex attack by the former economics student.

He arrived in the UK in 2004 after paying an “agent” to smuggle him out of Africa where he claimed his life was at risk.

A first attempt to deport him failed when he alleged he was injured in an isolation cell at Colnbrook Immigration Removal Centre near Heathrow Airport.

Mayela was then held at Campsfield House Detention Centre in Kidlington, Oxon, until a planned deportation flight back to Congan capital Brazzaville in May 2005.

But crew on the Air France jet prevented the plane’s takeoff from Southampton and it was claimed deportation minders had taped ­Mayela’s legs together and handcuffed him, breaking his hand.

A source close to Home Secretary James Cleverly said this week that action by people “with no knowledge” of those for who “they suddenly decide to intervene … can have appalling consequences for others”.

Mayela was also backed by the Institute of Race Relations charity.

A month later, he won leave to remain after lawyers said that deportation would be against his human rights while police were investigating the handlers for alleged assault.

‘Questions about legal process’

Two days after his release, Mayela joined a campaign to close Campsfield House and was photographed protesting outside with the sign stating, “Migrants are not criminals.”

At the time he told the BBC, “I am here to support my friends. I have been inside here, and at Colnbrook.”

Mayela has been remanded in custody and will be sentenced next month.

The Sun’s revelations have sparked further debate on immigration and human rights law.

Tory MP Marco Longhi, who sits on the Home Affairs select committee, said, “This raises serious questions about the legal process and Mayela’s right to stay in this country. My constituents are sure to be furious to discover that he has remained here on what appears to be a flimsy excuse before committing this horrific crime.”

Meanwhile former Immigration minister Robert Jenrick told The Sun’s Never Mind the Ballots online show that the handing of Britain’s borders over the past 30 years had been a “disgrace”.

He admitted the government had failed to get a grip for the past 14 years.

“We have failed to deliver on the promise that we made to the British public,” he said.

But he insisted there was still time to take a tougher line.

Mr Jenrick quit the Cabinet last December because he believed Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s Rwanda Bill “does not go far enough” to make the plan a viable small-boat deterrent.

“I do want the planes to go,” he said.

“I think the Rwanda policy is an incredibly important one. We need a deterrent. We’re living in an age of mass migration. Thousands of people are crossing the channel. It’s costing millions a day.”

‘Activist judges in Strasbourg’

Mr Jenrick said a “more robust policy” was needed because a handful of “symbolic” flights to East Africa would not be a deterrent.

“We need hundreds, if not thousands of people being sent to Rwanda,” he said.

“The key thing is they would be detained immediately on arrival.”

He wants Britain to quit the European Court of Human Rights because “activist judges in Strasbourg” have repeatedly delayed and frustrated the proposed Rwanda policy.

Labour’s Sir Keir Starmer has dismissed keeping the Rwanda scheme but says he is prepared to look at “offshoring” migrant claims.

But Mr Jenrick said, “Starmer wants to go to Europe and negotiate a migrant deal with them like the migrant pact the EU have just signed. That would mean us taking tens of thousands of illegal migrants into the country.”

Mr Jenrick, tipped by some as a future Tory leader, said governments had let the public down on border control in the last three decades.

“The public have consistently voted most of my adult life for controlled and reduced migration, whether that be legal or illegal,” he said.

He said the influx over the years had “damaged our economy, fuelled the housing crisis and made our country less cohesive and united”.

“I’m not prepared to be another politician who goes along with that, I want to take decisive steps to control our borders and reduce significantly the number of people coming.”

This article originally appeared on The Sun and was reproduced with permission