A rapist whose deportation was halted when airline passengers staged a mutiny is back on the streets after being released on bail, The Mail on Sunday can reveal.
Yaqub Ahmed, who should have been deported to his native Somalia last October, was released on bail four weeks ago.
He is now living in the North West as his legal team continue to fight his deportation.
Officials escorting Yaqub Ahmed on a flight from Heathrow to Turkey were forced to abandon his deportation when around a dozen holidaymakers who felt sorry for him angrily intervened shortly before take-off
Ahmed, 29, was convicted and jailed with three other men for the sickening gang rape of a 16-year-old girl in 2007.
News of his release comes a week after his victim bravely spoke of her fear and anger that her attacker remains in the UK.
Hannah – not her real name – last night reacted with horror to news that Ahmed is no longer behind bars. ‘It’s just disgusting and it adds pressure on to me,’ she said.
‘He should be in a detention centre where he is kept away from the public.
‘He has done something heinous and he was meant to be deported for it and now he is still roaming about – it’s absolutely ridiculous.
‘Knowing that he is roaming around doesn’t make me feel any safer. It just gets worse.’
The deportation of Ahmed, who was given a nine-year jail term, was abandoned shortly before the aircraft was due to leave London for Turkey after a group of passengers – who were unaware of his crime – took pity on him and intervened.
Yaqub Ahmed, 19, one of a gang of rapists now behind bars
In a video of the incident, Ahmed is seen screaming as passengers shout: ‘Take him off the plane!’
Last week, The Mail on Sunday revealed Ahmed had been listed to appear before an immigration tribunal in Nottingham on March 14, but the Home Office and the tribunal refused to provide details of what happened.
This newspaper has now established it was a bail hearing during which Ahmed’s lawyers successfully argued that he should be released into the community.
His bail conditions require him to live at a specified address in the North West and report to an immigration centre once a week. He is also believed to have been fitted with an electronic tag.
Under Home Office guidance, such ‘electronic monitoring’ is normally used ‘where a person poses a high risk of harm to the public on the basis of criminality and/or in cases concerning national security’.
But mother-of-one Hannah, 27, fears that Ahmed could simply disappear. Ondogo Ahmed, one of her other attackers, managed to flee Britain to join Islamic State following his release in 2012, despite being on licence. He is believed to have been killed in the fighting in 2013.
Latest figures show that between 2014 and 2016, a total of 494 foreign national offenders ‘absconded’ while they were listed for deportation after serving sentences in the UK.
The deportation of Ahmed, who was given a nine-year jail term, was abandoned shortly before the aircraft was due to leave London for Turkey after a group of passengers – who were unaware of his crime – took pity on him and intervened
‘What if he [Yaqub Ahmed] wants to abscond?’ Hannah asked. ‘It’s not like they kept tabs on them before. One of them was able to abscond to IS.
‘The Home Office should understand how difficult this must be for me.’
The Home Office told Ahmed in May 2010 that he was liable for deportation after his release from prison due to the seriousness of his offence, yet it took another five years before he was issued with a deportation order.
The department declined to comment on Ahmed’s case, but last night it said it had deported 47,000 foreign criminals since 2010 and monitors those who are released into the community pending deportation.
A Home Office spokesman added: ‘We are determined to protect the public by removing foreign national offenders who commit criminal offences.’