The Home Secretary Theresa May has been found in contempt of court by the High Court after failing to release an Algerian citizen from prison on time.
Aziz Lamari, 22, first arrived in the UK in July 2009. He was arrested and immediately filed for asylum.
The judge, Barry Cotter QC, described how Mr Aziz had absconded on three separate occasions to September 2009, being arrested in the back of a lorry in Cambridgeshire in August that year and later in Rotterdam. Mr Aziz then failed to attend an asylum interview in October.
Mr Aziz was convicted of two offences of exposure and was then found guilty of robbery at Wood Green Crown Court, where he was sentenced to a 12-month custodial sentence, pending deportation.
In December 2010 Mr Aziz finished his sentence, and was detained by the Home Office as they sought to push through his deportation. Over the next year in detention he developed psychiatric problems, which the judge acknowledged included one serious attempted suicide and four other attempts of serious harm.
Mr Aziz was diagnosed with 'suicidal ideation' in September 2011 and Judge Cotter noted that there was a "serious risk that the claimant would deteriorate as detention was the driving force behind his mental condition".
In April this year Mr Aziz was seen by a consultant psychiatrist who diagnosed him with a mixed anxiety-depressive disorder driven by his ongoing detention. His case was heard in the High Court in May, and the court ruled that his detention should not continue after 23 May 2012.
However, Mr Aziz was not released and it has now emerged that the Home Secretary in fact ordered a fresh review of the case.
In court this week the judge ruled that Mr Aziz is entitled to damages for his prolonged detention, and also found the Home Secretary in contempt of court for failing to comply with a court order.
The UK Border Agency has announced that Mr Aziz's case will now be reviewed urgently.
"Aziz Lamari is a failed asylum-seeker who had served custodial sentences for serious offences," they said.
"He was held in immigration detention awaiting removal to Algeria and we accept that he was not released on the date set by the court, which resulted in today's judgment. We are reviewing how this happened urgently," they continued.
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