‘We have far too many criminals of our own, we don’t need to bring them in from Albania’: Judge rebukes migrant who turned to crime after arriving to Britain illegally by boat – as Albanians become the biggest contingent of foreign prisoners in UK jails
A crown court judge has rebuked an Albanian migrant who turned to crime after arriving illegally in Britain by boat.
Sentencing Fatmir Limani, who burgled a house in Leeds, to 18 months in prison earlier this month, Judge Simon Batiste told him: ‘Sadly, the UK has far too many criminals of our own. We don’t need to bring them in from Albania.’
It comes as figures obtained by The Mail on Sunday show 75 per cent of Albanian nationals who have arrived illegally have since committed at least one criminal offence in the UK.
And 30 per cent of Britain’s class A drug trade is now controlled by Albanian gang lords.
Albanians – many of whom arrived illegally in Britain on lorries and small boats – are now the biggest contingent of foreign prisoners in UK jails, with 1,582 locked up here.
Fatmir Limani (pictured), who burgled a house in Leeds, was sentenced to 18 months in prison
This year so far, 93 Albanians have been jailed – at a cost to the taxpayer of £17 million – for serious offences such as murder, rape and kidnapping and burglary, including 14 in the past week.
They include six killers, one rapist, a kidnapper, five class A drug dealers and 56 cannabis growers.
Of the 93 jailed, at least 53 came to the UK illegally, either on small boats or in the back of lorries.
Albanians made up the biggest proportion of the more than 45,000 people who crossed the Channel illegally last year.
At one stage last summer, they represented 60 per cent of arrivals in small boats.Thousands sought asylum, even though Albania is considered ‘safe and hospitable’ by the Foreign Office.
Our data does not include those who were not jailed, or who appeared in the magistrates’ courts – which would make the total much higher.
As well as Judge Batiste’s remarks to Limani at Leeds Crown Court, other judges around the country have also voice their concern about illegal migrants turning to crime once they reach Britain.
Two weeks ago, Judge Joanne Kidd sent cannabis grower Aurel Kajo to prison for 20 months at Durham Crown Court. Albanian Kajo had paid £4,000 to be smuggled into Britain.
Judge Kidd told Kajo: ‘The message must go out that people who enter this country illegally and choose to involve themselves in criminal activity will likely face prison and then deportation.’
And at Nottingham Crown Court in January, Judge Tanweer Ikram told Albanian Elmas Sitaj, who was jailed for ten months for cannabis production: ‘You come here illegally, you take a risk. It can never be right that you turn to criminality. This is not a country where you get rich quickly. Life is hard and people aren’t paid very much.’
Sentencing Fatmir Limani, Judge Simon Batiste told him: ‘Sadly, the UK has far too many criminals of our own. We don’t need to bring them in from Albania’
It comes as figures obtained by The Mail on Sunday show 75 per cent of Albanian nationals who have arrived illegally have since committed at least one criminal offence in the UK (file picture)
Last week, Home Secretary Suella Braverman told how thousands of criminals who ‘possess values which are at odds with our country’ have sneaked into Britain on small boats.
She said: ‘We’re seeing heightened levels of criminality among the people who’ve come on boats, related to drug dealing, exploitation, prostitution. There are real challenges which go beyond the migration issue of people coming here illegally.
‘In my conversations with many police chiefs around the country, they are now reporting back to me that the drugs gangs they’re dealing with are people who came on small boats. Many people are coming here illegally and getting very quickly involved in the drugs trade, in other exploitation, in criminality and prostitution.’