ENTERTAINMENT

Drug dealer who attempted to murder a police officer rescued within the 11th hour before being deported to Jamaica


A Jamaican drug dealer who attempted to murder a police officer was one of 23 serious criminals to avoid deportation after legal challenges in hour 11.

Michael Mitchell, 44, was sentenced to 25 years in prison after firing a gun at close range at PC Shaun Callow, who followed him on foot.

The brave officer, who was not hit by the bullet, pursued Mitchell and later arrested him after a violent fight. PC Callow was nominated for a bravery award for his actions and announced by the then chief of the Metropolitan Police.

Mitchell, who was due to be relocated to Jamaica in the early hours of Wednesday after serving half his sentence, received last-minute redress following a legal challenge along with 22 other serious criminals.

These included two rapists, Conrod Bryce and Jermaine Stewart, and the murderer Michael Antonio White. The debacle came after 60 MPs, mostly from the Labor banks, wrote to Interior Minister Priti Patel asking for the deportation flight to be canceled. Supermodel Naomi Campbell, Line Of Duty star Thandie Newton and James Bond actress Naomie Harris signed an open letter urging travel agents not to operate such flights.

Michael Mitchell (left) and his accomplice Turhan Mah-Wing (left) were imprisoned at Inner London Crown Court

Meanwhile, legal teams representing the crooks began making final appeals – including for human rights and allegations that the criminals are victims of modern slavery – to allow them to stay in Britain.

Government officials have spoken of their anger at the opportunist tactics used by immigration lawyers to stop the removal of the criminals.

Citing comments made last month by Lord Burnett, the Lord Chief Justice, they said: "It is unfortunate that a minority of attorneys has given their professional weight and support to angry representations and abusive late-night legal challenges. "

A Home Office source said: “This is the issue that the Home Secretary is most concerned about right now. She is absolutely angry and wants these foreign offenders to be removed from the country. "

In August 2008, Mitchell of Streatham, South London, was unable to stop his car for the police and was followed in a patrol car by PC Callow and colleague PC Shona McKay. The criminal abandoned his car and fled on foot, but was chased through a residential area in Tulse Hill, south London by PC Callow.

To shoot the officer, Mitchell took a pistol from his waistband and fired from just five meters away. The bullet missed and the officer was able to continue his chase while leading other officers to the scene.

PC Callow was nominated for a bravery award for his actions and announced by the then chief of the Metropolitan Police

PC Callow was nominated for a bravery award for his actions and announced by the then chief of the Metropolitan Police

He found Mitchell hiding under a van in a nearby pub parking lot and held him down after a fierce fight. The crook was found to be in possession of a significant amount of crack cocaine, cannabis and a knife, as well as the gun.

PC Callow and PC McKay were later nominated for bravery awards for their prosecution and arrest of Mitchell and his accomplice Turhan Mah-Wing, who was then 21 years old. Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe, then commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, said at the time: “When members of the public are threatened, police officers show up to help them.

"These awards highlight just some of their great bravery."

Last night, police sources said of 39-year-old PC Callow, who is still a serving officer, that he is a "humble man" who regards the persecution as just "doing his job." A colleague said they were "horrified" to learn that Mitchell had received redress at the last minute and wasn't deported last week.

It can also be stated that 43-year-old rapist Conrod Bryce was due to be deported from Romford, east London, until his lawyers appealed at the last minute.

Bryce, who had been incarcerated for ten years, and another rapist, Jermaine Stewart, a 37-year-old from Liverpool who was sentenced to six years in prison for raping a woman who fell asleep on his sofa, both received reprieve. Michael Antonio White, now in his fifties, was also removed from the flight after being jailed for 18 years in 2003 for murder and attempted murder after shooting victim Sean Black six times in a drug store that went wrong.

Lawyers for offenders removed from flights have been criticized for posting solemn messages on social media.

Attorney Amer Zaman, who tweeted the words "What a result" after his unnamed client was removed from the plane, said, "My client was a nonviolent offender and has not been convicted of sexual crimes."

“I did this work on a pro bono basis and the first time I knew about the case was 18 hours before the flight was due to take off. There are some bad apples in our profession that might try to play the system, but in my experience the vast majority of lawyers are doing the right thing. They will not make unfounded claims because they fear the penalties and will be reported to the regulator. "

Among the 13 criminals successfully deported was 51-year-old Gary Fitzroy James, a London-based crook who was sentenced to 26 years in prison in 2007 for attempted murder.

Fitzroy Daley, who was convicted of manslaughter after stabbing a man after an argument in 2012, was also sacked.

The killers Paul Bingham and Ricardo Forbes (49 and 52 respectively) and the drug dealer Jahral Jacobs (West Bromwich) were also removed.

There were 30 charter flights by foreign offenders that year, while another flight to Jamaica in February sparked outrage when criminals, including rapists, received last-minute reprieve.

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