Picture of a judge's wigThe Judge RANTS!Picture of a judge's wig

Date: 08/06/06


The thugs of the Home Office have now served Sakchai Makao with a deportation order. He has all of five days to appeal against it, and the authorities seem to be determined to make it as difficult as possible for his legal advisers to meet him before the appeal period expires.

Please e-mail John Reid at (e-mail address removed as no longer relevant) to express your disgust!


The Flak-Jacket Kid Strikes Again

Those of you who follow such things will know that the dear old Home Office is currently in deep shit over its complete failure to monitor the whereabouts of foreign nationals who have served prison terms in the UK and been recommended for deportation.

This may account for the following story:

In 2004, Sachkai Makao, a young man of Thai ethnicity resident in Lerwick, chief town of Shetland, was sentenced to fifteen months in prison for fire-raising. Even the prosecution at his trial willingly conceded that Mr Makao's actions were fuelled by drunkenness and were utterly out of character. Mr Makao was a noted sportsman, having represented Shetland in the Island Games, and was a well-respected member of the staff of the local leisure centre.

Well, Mr Makao served his sentence (deportation was not recommended, nor even mentioned as a possibility, in his sentencing hearing), then returned to Lerwick. He got his old job back, and returned to being a well-liked and valued member of the local community.

Then, at 7am last Tuesday morning, a large group of police officers from a force other than that of Shetland smashed down the door of Mr Makao's flat and dragged him into a waiting car. He was then flown off the island to mainland Scotland, transferred initially to Govan in Glasgow, and then on to the maximum-security Durham prison in England. He is being held there indefinitely with a view to deporting him to Thailand.

A few thoughts:

I suppose the real answer to all of the above questions is this: that, having failed wretchedly to find the murderers, the rapists, the gangsters, and the smugglers of drugs and people whom their incompetence had caused them to lose track of in the first place, the Home Office is desperately casting around for easy cases to enable them to meet their publicly-boasted-of and self-appointed targets for deporting foreign convicts. And so, under John Reid (he who recently went on such a dawn raid himself, protected only by a flak jacket and a small brigade of police, Home Office officials and media, and merely the latest in a long line of egregious, attention-seeking thugs to be appointed Home Secretary), they jump on a man who had served his time and got on with his life serving his home town.

Not surprisingly, Sachkai Makao's friends, colleagues and neighbours are very angry at an action which would be more appropriate to that of a disreputable régime in Latin America in the old days, and are vigourously campaigning for him to be returned home as soon as possible. Local politicians and church people, and people from beyond the shores of Shetland are now involved.

For more details of the campaign, go to The Shetlink Forum. Better still, sign the petitionAn arrow to click on to take you to a follow-up item