The Judge RANTS!
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
Please e-mail John Reid at (e-mail address removed as no longer relevant) to express
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
A few thoughts:
- Why was Sakchai Makao snatched like this when no recommendation
had ever been made for his deportation?
- What threat is he deemed to constitute to society when he has
already paid the price of his moment of stupidity by getting a criminal
record and being shut up in jail for months?
- What deleterious effects could Mr Makao's presence in Lerwick
possibly have when he has returned to his previous work serving the
locality in which he lives, keeping within the laws and paying his
- What sort of state apparatus could possibly consider its
behaviour in this case to be reasonable, proportionate or remotely
justified by the facts?
- Given that Sachkai Makao has lived in Shetland for 13 of his 23
years, has no family in Thailand (his father is dead, his mother and
sister live in England), cannot speak Thai and would face imprisonment
or conscription to the armed forces should he be deported there, what
possible just cause could be served by deporting him?
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
Shetlink Forum. Better still, sign the petition.