Asylum seeker arrested in Portsmouth set for payout after judge rules she was wrongly detained

A NAMIBIAN asylum seeker arrested in Portsmouth is set for a damages payout after a judge concluded she was wrongly held in immigration detention for about three-and-a-half weeks.

Wednesday, 17th October 2018, 4:29 pm
Updated Wednesday, 17th October 2018, 5:35 pm
A High Court judge ruled an asylum seeker arrested in Portsmouth was wrongly held in a detention centre

The 40-year-old woman said she feared being killed or forced into slavery if deported.

She took legal action against home secretary Sajid Javid, and Deputy High Court Judge John Cavanagh ruled her detention was unlawful because immigration officials did not act properly.

He said the woman, who cannot be identified, was not examined by a doctor within 24 hours of being detained, in breach of a rule, and officials did not take the correct steps when she claimed she had been trafficked.

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The judge analysed evidence at a High Court hearing in London and announced his conclusions in a written ruling.

He said the woman was unlawfully detained between September 20 and October 13 last year and was entitled to damages.

Judge Cavanagh said if the woman, who arrived in the UK in July 2017, could not agree the size of the payout with home office ministers he would analyse arguments and make a decision.

The woman had been given leave to enter Britain as a visitor providing she did not work.

But she was arrested in Portsmouth in September last year after admitting working as a carer, the judge heard.

She subsequently claimed asylum and told officials she had been sold into slavery and feared being killed or forced back into slavery if she was made to return to Namibia.