A Jamaican criminal who avoided deportation following legal challenges backed by Labour MPs and a host of celebrities went on to commit murder, the Daily Mail can reveal.
Ernesto Elliott was due to be aboard a Home Office charter flight in December 2020, but dodged efforts to remove him thanks to last-minute human rights appeals.
But in June 2021 – six months after he was supposed to have been removed from Britain – Elliott murdered a 35-year-old man in a horrific knife fight.
Elliott was last month jailed for at least 26 years for murder, it can be disclosed today.
Onlookers who witnessed the bloody, eight-minute confrontation suffered ‘significant trauma’, police said.
It was a crime that would never have taken place if Elliott, 45, had been sent back to his birth country.
Last night Priti Patel, who oversaw the attempt to remove Elliott when she was in charge of the Home Office, said the case showed why it was crucial to defy ‘do-gooders’ who try to block deportations.
Elliott was due to be on the chartered Boeing 757 on December 2, 2020, after being convicted of knife crime, police sources said. But he and 22 other serious criminals submitted last-minute appeals – including human rights claims – which led to them avoiding deportation to Jamaica.
The 23 criminals had been sentenced to a combined 156 years in jail. Their appeals came just days after 60 celebrities, authors and other public figures signed an open letter opposing the flight.
They included supermodel Naomi Campbell, Line Of Duty star Thandiwe Newton, James Bond actress Naomie Harris and historian David Olusoga. A host of Labour MPs also added their signatures.
Opposition MPs even compared the deportation flight to the Windrush scandal, even though the Caribbean migrants who suffered awful injustice in that episode had committed no crimes.
On June 2, 2021, Elliott was involved in the vicious knife fight in broad daylight in Greenwich, south-east London.