- Alphonse Semo, 54, was allowed by judge to marry girlfriend so can stay in Britain
- Father-of-five was jailed for eight years for rape in 2002
By Rob Cooper
Last updated at 12:33 PM on 15th December 2011
An asylum seeker who raped a woman and dumped her on a rubbish tip when he was ‘finished’ has been freed despite Home Office attempts to deport him.
Alphonse Semo, 54, was jailed for eight years for the rape and at the end of his term was due to be sent back to the Congo.
However two hours before his flight he was given permission to marry his girlfriend and stay in the country.
Now a judge has allowed the father-of-five to be released from an immigration detention centre.
Convicted rapist Alphonse Semo arrives at his wedding last year after he was granted permission to stay in Britain
He has been fitted with an electronic tag and is required to check in regularly with the authorities.
The Home Office is still fighting to have Semo removed but he has applied for judicial review and the case could take the courts years to resolve.
Semo was told three years ago that he would be deported after serving the prison sentence he was handed in 2002.
However, a Home Office blunder meant he was granted permission to wed his girlfriend, another refugee from the Democratic Republic of Congo who became a German national, hours before he was to be sent back to Africa.
Officials initially agreed to give the refugee a ‘certificate of approval’ to wed, then changed their mind.
Held: Semo, 54, had been kept at the Colnbrook Immigration Centre in Uxbridge, west London, since 2007
Then a ‘very reluctant’ Mr Justice Collins, sitting in the High Court in March last year, said the Home Office ‘really cannot be allowed to play hot and cold’ so decided Semo could stay for the ceremony.
After a new immigration hearing, the rapist was released on Tuesday from the immigration centre near Heathrow where he had been held since 2007.
Semo, who used to live in Deptford, south-east London, is believed to have now married his long-term partner Bunsana Kalonji.
Until the courts make a final ruling on his deportation he can stay in Britain.
A spokesman for the Home Office said: ‘We vigorously opposed this individual’s application for bail and are very disappointed by the court’s decision.
‘He will be subject to rigorous monitoring, including an electronic tag, and we are continuing to fight for his removal from the UK.’