Sad News Bruce Mpofu Is Deported To Zimbabwe After 20 Years In UK
Bruce Mpofu, 29, came over to the UK with his mum who is an NHS worker, when he was aged nine, but found that he was being detained during a routine immigration meeting in July.
On Wednesday evening, he was put on a charter flight from Heathrow airport and flown to Harare, Zimbabwe after a series of legal battles.
Bruce was convicted of a robbery offence in 2010 when he was 18,and was sentenced to 11 months in jail but has not reoffended since.
When the Telegraph & Argus asked The Home Office for a comment, a spokesperson said: “Foreign criminals who abuse our hospitality should be in no doubt of our determination to deport them. Since January 2019 we have removed 7,985 foreign national offenders from the UK.
“We only ever return those who we and, where applicable, the courts are satisfied do not need our protection and have no legal basis to remain in the UK.
“All people in IRCs are provided with a mobile phone and have access to landline telephones on request, fax machines, email, and video calling facilities which can be used to contact legal representatives. We check the signal regularly and no issues have been recorded.”
Before this summer, no mass deportation flights had left for Zimbabwe for more than ten years, but it is believed the UK has agreed a deal with the country’s new government which enables removals of Zimbabwean nationals who have served prison sentences in the UK of more than 12 months.
Bruce’s friend, John Priestly said: “After his conviction, Bruce wanted to turn his life around, and that’s what he did. He approached Wibsey rugby club to meet better friends and he’s done a lot of volunteer work for the community. He hasn’t re-offended since. He deeply regrets what he did when he was younger. He’s loved by everyone.”
Bruce went onto college to complete a plumbing course after his jail sentence, and joined the local rugby club to ensure he was ‘getting in with the right crowd’.
Bruce’s best friend, Daniel Priestley added: “He was a good lad. He was like a brother to me he’d do anything for you, he’d cut your grass, help you out when you needed it. We have spent the last five Christmases together, I was in pieces.”
Daniel said he has spoken to Bruce since his arrival in Zimbabwe and he is ‘devastated’ at the situation.
Tributes on Facebook have poured in, and a GoFundMe page was set up to help with legal fees.
Bruce is currently living in quarantine in a hotel and the UK government has given him £40 to help him set up over there.
Bruce’s friends now want to raise funds to ensure he has a roof over his head and to help him ‘get him on his feet.’