Drug dealing rapist was in UK illegally

A DRUG-dealing rapist who preyed on a 14-year-old Ipswich girl snuck into the UK illegally and begged the government to allow him to stay and give him benefits because he felt safe here.

A DRUG-dealing rapist who preyed on a 14-year-old Ipswich girl snuck into the UK illegally and begged the government to allow him to stay and give him benefits because he felt safe here.

But as Paul Dibi made himself at home in the UK he turned to peddling drugs and claiming payment for them by demanding sexual favours from women.

And when he saw an opportunity, the violent criminal overpowered an intoxicated Ipswich teen and forced her to have sex in an Ipswich alleyway as payment for a drugs debt.

Liberian-born Dibi had ignored the UK's immigration laws when he arrived here from the Ivory Coast when he was 19. He landed on UK soil in 1998 after a three-week boat journey and tried to claim asylum.

He even came to The Evening Star for help, begging us to lobby the government on his behalf but we refused. He also claimed it was unfair he wasn't given Job Seeker's Allowance.

At the time he was living in Rendlesham Court with his girlfriend but later he moved to Bramford Road.

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In May 2004 he told us: “When I was in the boat I didn't know where it was going, the first I knew it was here was when we arrived in the UK.

“They (the government) will only help if I want to go back to Liberia.

“If I go back they will kill me because I left the country. I have been stabbed and shot before in my country.

“I want to stay here because I am safe here, can work here and don't have to worry someone will be stood up wanting to kill me.”

Dibi was due to be deported when he turned on the school girl on February 23 last year in the alleyway in Austin Street, Ipswich, and subjected her to an horrific sexual attack lasting between ten and 15 minutes.

As reported in yesterday's Evening Star, the 27-year-old is now serving a six year jail term after a jury found him guilty of rape. The same jury found him not guilty of orally raping the girl.

When he was sentenced at Ipswich Crown Court, Judge John Devaux told Dibi that it was in England's interest that he be deported without spending another day in the country after he had served his term.

And today the Home Office pledged Judge Devaux's recommendation would be carried out - as the public's right to safety overrides any right for Dibi to be given asylum.

A spokeswoman for the Home Office said: “The government has clearly stated that public protection is the overriding priority of the Home Office.

“As part of this we've made clear we will seek to deport foreign nationals who have committed a serious crime.

“Safety of the public is paramount.”

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www.homeoffice.gov.uk

PAUL Dibi told The Evening Star that he feared for his life if he was forced to return to Liberia, on Africa's west coast.

After sneaking into England he did everything he could to stay here for good - he applied for asylum status from the government on the grounds that it was unsafe to return there and he begged us for help.

While here, he lived for a time at the YMCA in Norwich Road but he was told to return to Felixstowe, which is thought to have been where he entered the country.

However he told us he wouldn't go because he had no money.

In May 2003 he was picked up by immigration officials in a morning raid and taken to Gatwick but his girlfriend admitted to us he was allowed to stay after officials discovered he was from strife-torn Liberia, not Ghana as they thought.

In 2004, when he came to see us, he was required to visit Ipswich police station every week to confirm he was still here.

Despite his managing to stay in the UK for eight years, the Home Office today pledged Dibi's days here were numbered.

While refusing to comment on Dibi's case as a matter of policy, a spokeswoman said: “If a judge recommends deportation then they will be (deported).

“It means the wheels will then be in motion for that person to be deported.

“If the process isn't completed by the end of the sentence they will go to an immigration detention centre until it is.”

In the wake of last year's scandal over illegal immigrants not being sent home on their release from prison, the Home Office has moved to reassure the public that offenders who didn't belong here would no longer be able to slip under their radar.

The Home Office spokeswoman said practices were now far more thorough to ensure no one slipped through the gaps, with more thorough practices and even removing a foreign national of any legal status they have in the UK.

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