UK: Illegal migrant who protested with sign reading “Migrants are not criminals” pleads guilty to rape of 15-year-old girl


A Congolese migrant who had his deportation from the U.K. blocked by an airline’s cabin crew and previously campaigned outside a detention center with a sign that read, “Migrants are not criminals,” has pleaded guilty to raping a 15-year-old girl.

Anicet Mayela entered his guilty plea at Oxford Crown Court last Friday for one count of rape of a former economics student. The court heard how there was a high level of “dangerousness” surrounding the attack, which is understood to have taken place between Dec. 1 and Dec. 31 last year.

The Congolese national had been living in Britain since 2004 when he paid smugglers to help him escape his country of origin where he claimed he was being persecuted.

Several attempts by the U.K. Home Office to deport him were thwarted by feigned injuries and legal challenges, including an incident back in May 2005 when a planned deportation flight was prevented from taking off by Air France cabin crew who claimed public officials had broken Mayela’s hand after handcuffing him.

With the aid of left-wing charities, including the Institute of Race Relations, and immigration lawyers, the Congolese national won leave to remain in Britain later that year after successfully arguing a return to his homeland would be a violation of his human rights.

Mayela used the opportunity to actively campaign against the deportation of illegal migrants, participating in a demonstration near his detention center in Oxford where he spoke to the BBC and hung a sign around his neck that read, “Migrants are not criminals.”

“I am here to support my friends. I have been inside here, and at Colnbrook,” he told the U.K.’s public broadcaster from outside the detention center.

On Friday, Mayela was ordered to remain in custody while a pre-sentencing report was prepared.

He is scheduled to return for sentencing on May 10.

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