AN illegal immigrant furious that he was locked up after being caught with a fake passport is suing Britain for £118,730 damages — and has won LEGAL AID.
Cheeky Sarmadi Sayid, 38 — who faces the boot back to Somalia after conning his way into the UK — wants more than £1,000 compensation for each of 87 days he spent in custody.
He is also demanding “aggravated and exemplary damages” totalling £28,000 — claiming officials had no right to hold him.
Last night the Home Office vowed to “robustly” defend the High Court action — meaning the taxpayer will foot both Sayid’s legal bill AND theirs.
The Somali, who speaks no English, is being represented by legal firm Duncan Lewis and Co, which refused to comment yesterday.
Court documents say their client fled Africa after boarding a plane in Kenya with dodgy papers.
A claim for asylum was rejected so Sayid used the system to launch one judicial review after another.
At one point he was put on a plane — then taken off.
Because migrants are only detained if deportation is imminent — and a THIRD judicial review is still under way — Sayid is currently free.
A relative at the end-of-terrace in North London where he is holed up said yesterday: “He just wants to stay in the country. His whole family is here — his mother and everything.”
The UK Border Agency declared: “If someone has no right to be in the UK we are determined to remove them.”
A Legal Services Commission spokesman today defended the decision saying: "In order to receive legal aid, Sarmadi Sayid will have passed a financial means test and his cases will have met the Legal Services Commission's (LSC) legal merits test. These are the standard tests that any applicant for legal aid has to pass in order to be granted funding and consider factors such as the case's likelihood of success.
"The LSC's specialist National Immigration and Asylum Team are managing Mr Sayid's cases and they are being carefully monitored to ensure that they receive the appropriate funding. We cannot, however, reveal the current amount of funding, as this may prejudice the on-going cases."
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