UK: “Poster Child” African Asylum Seeker Whose Deportation Flight Was Blocked By Sympathetic Cabin Crew Pleads Guilty To Violently Raping Teen Girl

The Publica Team

A Congolese asylum seeker has admitted to raping a 15-year-old girl in the United Kingdom after his deportation flight was blocked a sympathetic Air France cabin crew. Anicet Mayela arrived in the UK in 2004 after enlisting an “agent” to facilitate his departure from Africa, citing imminent danger as his motive.

Mayela gained widespread attention from people opposing deportations after he used human rights law to fight his forcible return to the Republic of the Congo, where he claimed his life was “in danger.” The first attempt to deport him failed after Mayela claimed he had been injured by the Colnbrook Immigration Removal Centre in Middlesex.

One year later, in 2005, a second attempt to deport him was thwarted by a do-gooder Air France cabin crew. Mayela had been placed on a flight from Southampton to Brazzaville, and Air France cabin crew were reportedly shocked at his “mistreatment” by deportation staff and sympathized with his ordeal. They refused to allow the flight to take off, resulting in Mayela being allowed to stay in the UK for longer.

Mayela quickly became a poster child for migration rights activists, and was even backed by the Institute of Race Relations, a “racial justice” charity.

Shortly after his release following the Air France incident, Mayela joined a campaign to close Campsfield House detention center and was photographed protesting outside with the sign stating: “Migrants are not criminals.”

But Mayela has now pleaded guilty to the horrific sexual assault of a 15-year-old girl, which was said to have been perpetrated with a “high-level of dangerousness.” Mayela now faces up to life in prison, and will be sentenced at a later date.

Regarding the cabin crew’s interference, a source close to Home Secretary James Cleverly told The Sun that people “with no knowledge” who “suddenly decide to intervene [in deportations] can have appalling consequences for others.”

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

“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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