A British judge ruled to exempt a murderer from deportation to his native Jamaica because doing so would violate his human rights.
The 29-year-old, referred to only as “JR,” is gay and would be at risk in his native country, the judge found.
The killer was convicted of being “party to the murder of another teenage boy” in 2001, a year after arriving to the U.K. at the age of 15. He and another teenager stabbed a boy over a £10, or $17, debt from a marijuana sale.
JR was sentenced to detention in 2002 and freed in June 2012.
He only declared his sexuality in April 2012, after 11 and a half years in custody. His mother testified, however, that she “knew all along.”
The opposition argued in an appeal that his claim should be rejected on “credibility grounds.”
“The claim of homosexuality was contrived and brought as a last resort to avoid deportation,” said government barrister Catherine Rowlands.
But in the end, the judge dismissed the appeal, calling JR’s mother an “impressive witness.” The country’s upper tribunal also found JR “no longer constitutes a significant danger to the community of the UK.”
Some British politicians are outraged by the outcome.
“Until we have freed ourselves from the European Convention on Human Rights, these sorts of basket-case decisions will carry on happening thick and fast,” said MP Douglas Carswell, who called the verdict a “gross distortion of justice.”
“The idea that his human rights should have any impact whatever when he has come in to this country illegally in the first place to murder someone is absurd," another MP, Peter Bone, said. “When it comes to murderers, courts should have the absolute right to sentence people for as long as they want, or to send them home immediately after.”
UK Home Secretary Theresa May had been trying adamantly to oust JR since his release but accepted that if the man was really gay, he could not be deported.