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Asylum Seeker Rapes Girl, 15, Years After Cabin Crew Saved Him From Deportation


An asylum seeker has been remanded in custody for raping a 15-year-old girl years after kind-hearted flight crew members fought to save him from being deported to his country.

Anicet Mayela, 40, from the Republic of Congo, first came to the UK in 2004 but was set to be deported in 2005.

However, his flight was blocked by Air France cabin crew after they heard he was being sent back to his home country. Mayela told them his hand had been broken by deportation minders, who handcuffed his wrists and taped his legs together, The Sun reports.

An earlier deportation attempt also failed after he alleged he was injured in an isolation cell at Colnbrook Immigration Removal Centre.

A month after his flight was blocked, Mayela was granted leave to remain in the UK after lawyers said his deportation would go against his human rights. Police also said they would investigate the injuries he claimed to sustain during his deportation.

After being saved from deportation, Mayela was later pictured protesting outside Campsfield House, where he was first held, with a sign stating: “Migrants are not criminals.”

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

Now, years later, he has pleaded guilty to raping a 15-year-old girl.

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

A Home Office source told The Sun that action by people “with no knowledge” who “suddenly decide to intervene can have appalling consequences for others’”.

Conservative MP Marco Longhi, who sits on the Home Affairs select committee, said the case “raises serious questions about the legal process and Mayela’s right to stay in this country”.

He added: “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.”

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