Scorn over £750m ‘put me in mixed-sex jail’ plea

Kullem wanted a mixed cell at Hull Jail
Kullem wanted a mixed cell at Hull Jail
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A FAILED asylum seeker tried to claim £750m from the Government for being denied his “right” to be in a mixed-sex prison.

Zimbabwean Rayden Kullem, who is awaiting deportation in Hull Jail, claimed that it was wrong in the eyes of God for men to be imprisoned without women and launched civil proceedings in September.

But Kullem issued his claim against the wrong defendant and in the wrong court.

Incredibly, because of an administrative mistake, he temporarily won his claim.

But that was struck out by Judge Jeremy Richardson QC, at Hull High Court on Monday, who said the case was “wholly misconceived” and Kullem should have applied for a judicial review.

Court officials said afterwards the claim was addressed to the wrong defendant – the Home Secretary rather than the Secretary of State for Justice.

Kullem, who had two asylum claims rejected in the past, launched a civil claim against the Government on the ground that being held in a single-sex jail was against his human rights and being in a mixed-sex prison would allow him to express his sexuality.

He argued he should have special treatment as he was being detained awaiting deportation having served a sentence.

Kullem, who was seeking up to £750m, was temporarily awarded damages in default, after the Government failed to respond.

However, Judge Richardson said that even if he launched his claim in the right court, he suspected it would be “doomed to fail”.

The Judge reportedly said: “I have every suspicion even if he launched a claim in the correct court, it would be doomed to fail.

“I set aside the default judgment and strike out the claim.

“This case is wholly misconceived.”

He went on: “It should have raised a few eyebrows, to put it mildly.

“This is a preposterous claim suggesting persons have the right to have mixed cells should they so wish and if that is the proper argument – which is a very novel one to put it mildly – judicial review is the right way.

“There has been a mistake, quite whose it is doesn’t really matter – things do occasionally go wrong.

“Giving somebody the amount of money you were claiming in a default judgment should have put somebody on alert.

“An erroneous judgment was made. I will set it aside.”

Kullem, who is in Hull Prison, said he wanted to challenge the decision, despite the Judge’s comments.

He reportedly told the court he believed his claim “would be beneficial for the majority of the public”.

He said: “I do not think it is doomed. It would be beneficial for the majority of the public.

“I would like to appeal. I feel very strongly about this.”

Kullem was ordered to pay court costs of nearly £3,000, if he was in a position to pay it.

Brigg and Goole MP Andrew Percy said: “I can’t believe a case of this sort got to court in the first place, but it does look as though common sense has prevailed.

“It is just a sign of what a joke our judicial system has become in the last decade or two.

“Failed asylum seekers, who have been judged not to be telling the truth about their status, think they can claim from the taxpayer for not being allowed a place in a mixed-sex prison strikes me as utterly ridiculous.

“Given that we are trying to get away from mixed-sex wards it would strike me as a recipe for disaster to have mixed-sex prison wings.”

A Ministry of Justice spokesperson said: “This case was struck out with the defendant ordered to pay costs.”

HMP Peterborough is the UK’s only unisex prison. The prison is run by Sodexo Justice Service, one of a network of 14 private prisons.

HMP & YOI Peterborough has 1,008 places in total.

However, the genders are separated and never mix.

The prison also has a 12-place Mother and Baby Unit and holds convicted female young offenders.