Home Office abandons plans to deport Osime Brown to Jamaica

Family celebrate success of campaign to halt deportation of 22-year-old, who has autism

A 22-year-old man who has autism and his family are celebrating after the Home Office abandoned plans to deport him to Jamaica.

Osime Brown, who left Jamaica aged four to settle in the UK with his mother, Joan Martin, was facing deportation after being released from prison where he had been serving a sentence for stealing a friend’s mobile phone, though he and others said he did not do it.

Martin has been fighting to halt her son’s deportation and a campaign against it had been gathering momentum, with demonstrations held in London and Glasgow at the weekend.

On Tuesday the Home Office abandoned its plans to deport him.

Martin cried when she spoke to the Guardian: “We did it,” she said. “Our fight shows you should never give up. The Home Office has made the right decision to allow Osime to stay with his loving, caring family.”

She expressed her gratitude to the many supporters who campaigned alongside her family to keep her son in the UK and also spoke warmly of the Home Office.

“I will respond with love because we know no other way. Thank you for allowing my son to stay in his home and in the only country he has ever truly known. We are grateful. This goes to show that you can respond in a dynamic and just way. God bless you.”

Brown has been diagnosed with depression and post-traumatic stress disorder and has a heart condition.

His cause gained the support of many MPs, including Diane Abbott, John McDonnell and Claudia Webbe, the Labour peer Alf Dubs and the former archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams.

Brown had been sentenced to five years for robbery, attempted robbery and perverting the course of justice.

Martin said that as well as being innocent of the crime of which he was convicted, her son’s complex needs meant it would be impossible for him to survive alone in Jamaica, where he had no friends, family or support network.

The immigration tribunal had given the Home Office a deadline of Tuesday to review its decision to proceed with Brown’s deportation. Officials said they were no longer proceeding with the plans.

A Home Office spokesperson said: “In order to protect the public it is right that foreign nationals, convicted of crimes with prison sentences of 12 months or more, are automatically considered for deportation under the 2007 Borders Act.

“The Home Office reviews all cases when new information is provided and all decisions are made in accordance with the law.”

Contributor

Diane Taylor

The GuardianTramp

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