Asylum seekers claim 300,000 compensation for wrongful detention
Six asylum seekers are reportedly claiming 300,000 in compensation for being wrongly detained by immigration officials.
By Graham Tibbetts
Last Updated: 11:59AM GMT 03 Nov 2008
The refugees are understood to have arrived in Britain claiming they were under 18.
However, they had no supporting documentation and were held while their ages and status were checked.
At least three of the asylum seekers, who cannot be named or legal reasons, were detained with adults for up to two weeks at an immigration centre.
Each claimant is said to be seeking up to 50,000 for “false imprisonment and breaches of human rights as a result of the actions of the Immigration Service”.
A source at the UK Border Agency said: “It's a regular trick for adult asylum seekers who look young to claim they are under 18 to ease their passage into the country. It makes my blood boil that people eager for this country to give them a new life turn around and bite it with writs claiming thousands of pound.”
A UK Border Agency spokesman said: “Identifying the correct age of any applicant is crucial for the protection of those children already in our system, as well as the prevention of abuse of the immigration system.”
Donna Covey, chief executive of the Refugee Council, said: “We should not lock refugee children up at all, let alone with adults.”
A spokesman for Bhatt Murphy, the solicitors representing the claimants, said: “All the claimants were children that had been wrongfully assessed by the Home Office as adults.”