Rapist who arrived in the UK illegally before attacking a woman at knifepoint CANNOT be deported
A foreign rapist branded a 'danger to women' has been allowed to stay in the UK – because he might not be given proper medical treatment in his home country.
Joachim Cardos, 43, was an illegal immigrant in Edinburgh and dealing drugs when he raped a woman at knifepoint and left her fearing for her life.
After serving a jail sentence for what a judge described as a 'violent and persistent' attack that had a 'devastating' impact on his victim, he was ordered to be sent back to his native Gambia.
Despite the law stating that foreign nationals guilty of serious crimes should automatically be deported, the sex offender launched a human rights challenge - arguing that his health would suffer in his West African homeland.
In a move that justice campaigners have called 'an insult to his victim', an immigration tribunal ruled in favour of letting Cardos remain in the UK.
The tribunal agreed that, if deported, the rapist would 'experience genuine difficulties being able to access a regular supply of his necessary medications' and would face a 'real risk of social isolation and stigmatisation'.
Cardos arrived in Britain in June 2007 on a visitor visa. When his leave to remain expired in June 2008, he stayed on illegally, living in Edinburgh and dealing drugs.
In October 2011, a 26-year-old marketing executive who had got his phone number outside a nightclub went to his flat in the capital's Dalry area to buy a small quantity of cannabis.
When he tried to kiss her, she turned him down but he pushed her into the bedroom.
The woman later told a trial at the High Court in Edinburgh: 'I could just see his eyes widen and his nose flare.
It just looked like an angry face. He said he was going to kill me. He said to me, 'Do you know how many people I have killed?'
Cardos grabbed her throat and she briefly passed out. When she came to, she found he was not in the room, but he returned.
She said: 'This time he had a knife. He kept saying I was bad and he was going to kill me. I thought he had flipped or was on drugs or something.' Cardos then raped her.
Passing sentence in July 2012, Judge Lord Hardie said there was a high risk of re-offending and Cardos posed a danger to women.
Cardos was sentenced to eight years for rape and a further three years for dealing a Class B drug.
Having started his sentence at HMP Dumfries, he was later sent to the State Hospital at Carstairs, Lanarkshire, after he was diagnosed with schizophrenia.
He was returned to the prison when doctors found his condition could be controlled with medication.
In January 2019, Cardos was served with a deportation order – but immediately launched a challenge with the Asylum and Immigration Tribunal.
He argued that the medicines he was receiving to treat his mental health would not be available in Gambia.
The Home Office offered to give him enough medicine to last three months, plus £1,250 to buy further supplies. He refused the offer and tribunal judges ruled that sending him back to Gambia would potentially breach his human rights.
They said there was 'a real risk that he will experience genuine difficulties in the Gambia in being able to access a regular supply of his necessary medications', adding: 'There is a real risk of at least social isolation and stigmatisation.'
The Home Secretary appealed the decision but the challenge was rejected last month.