Dungeval Criminals Seek Damages

Dungavel criminals seek damages

Page last updated at 16:39 GMT, Thursday, 29 January 2009

Two immigrants held at the Dungavel detention centre in Lanarkshire after serving prison sentences in Scotland are seeking damages.

Jamaican Timeko Pusey, 28, was jailed for two years in 2006 after she was caught arriving in Aberdeen with 78,000 worth of class A drugs.

Leroy Millar, from Zimbabwe, was jailed for robbery and assault in Aberdeen.

Both claim they were illegally detained at Dungavel after serving jail terms and they have launched a court action.

Their cases are part of a batch of four raised at the Court of Session in Edinburgh seeking a judicial review of decisions by the home secretary to detain individuals at the immigration removal centre in Lanarkshire.

Judicial review

The Advocate General for Scotland is contesting the actions on behalf of the home secretary.

Timeko Pusey was stopped by police at Aberdeen railway station after arriving on a sleeper, and claimed she planned to do hairdressing for friends.

During her prison sentence she was told the home secretary was considering deporting her, and following her release from prison she was detained at Dungavel in the summer of 2007, before being transferred to an immigration centre in England.

Pusey claims the detention was illegal and wants the court to declare it unlawful through a judicial review.

She is seeking 50,000 damages, and said she had good grounds to oppose her deportation.

Leroy Millar, 23, was convicted of two charges of robbery and sentenced to four years imprisonment.

Prison term

He was later convicted of a further charge of assault and robbery in November 2007 at Aberdeen Sheriff Court and jailed for 20 months.

He completed his prison term in July 2008 but was detained under the Immigration Act.

Millar also claims his detention was unlawful and is seeking damages of 5,000 because of it.

He claims he was detained in circumstances where the home secretary did not realistically expect to be able to deport him.

The day after he was detained, parliament was told that no one was being forced to return to Zimbabwe from Britain.

The actions are continuing and Lord Pentland gave the government 21 days to lodge its defences.