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Convicted murderer who was allowed to stay in UK after last-minute appeal got £93,555 in legal aid

A convicted murderer who dodged deportation to Jamaica with a last-minute appeal has been awarded £93,000 in legal aid, it can be disclosed.

Michael Antonio White was taken off a Home Office flight last month after his lawyers submitted new claims shortly before take-off.

Now in his 50s, he was sentenced to life in prison in 2003 after shooting his victim six times in a drug deal gone wrong.

Since his crime he has received £93,555 to fund his legal team, including the cost of his trial.

But data released by the Legal Aid Agency shows he received money right up until last year, when he was engaged in an immigration case fighting deportation. It is not known how the spending was broken down.

Another three Jamaican killers who were successfully deported on the flight last month received a further £237,000 in legal aid, mainly for their criminal trials.

Convicted killer Michael Antonio White, who was removed off a Home Office flight last month, received £93,555 in legal aid it has been revealed. Pictured: Anti-deportation protesters

Fitzroy Daley, 44, was jailed for ten years for manslaughter after stabbing a man to death with a six-inch kitchen knife in a row outside a pub in 2012.

He received £35,491 to hire lawyers between 2008 and 2018, figures show.

Daley was initially due to be deported to Jamaica in February last year, but it was blocked by last-minute legal challenges.

Murderer Paul Bingham, also from Jamaica, received £110,357 in legal funding at the taxpayers’ expense for his criminal trial between 2002 and 2004.

The 49-year-old and his accomplice Ricardo Forbes were sent back to Jamaica last month nearly 18 years after being convicted of a ‘brutal killing’.

The career criminals shot crack cocaine dealer Harrington Jack at point-blank range.

The pair went to his flat in Tottenham, north London, to try to steal his drugs in 2002. They ordered him to turn out his pockets, and shot him in the chest when he refused.

Another Jamaican three killers successfully deported received further £237k in legal aid

Another Jamaican three killers successfully deported received further £237k in legal aid 

Bingham was ordered to serve life with a minimum term of 18 years and ten months. Forbes, 52, was handed life with a minimum 16-year tariff.

The legal aid bill for his trial ran to £91,986. It means in total the four killers’ legal aid bills ran to more than £331,000.

The legal challenge, which saw White and 22 other criminals avoid deportation last month, was backed by Labour MPs and a host of celebrities – among them model Naomi Campbell and actresses Thandie Newton and Naomie Harris.

All the legal aid sums are paid direct to barristers and solicitors, and not to the offenders.

All the figures include VAT and other expenditure such as ‘disbursements’ – for example, fees to expert witnesses.

The total – particularly the recent sums awarded to gunman White – will raise new questions about the operation of the legal aid system.

White was taken off flight after his lawyers submitted new claims shortly before take-off.

White was taken off flight after his lawyers submitted new claims shortly before take-off.

Last month the Mail revealed how of millions of pounds of taxpayers’ money has been wrongly spent on legal aid, with huge sums of public cash siphoned off by dodgy lawyers and their clients.

The Legal Aid Agency, which controls legal aid payments, wasted up to £20million on unjustified handouts last year, according to its own estimates.

One law firm was paid an astonishing £793,000 in error, and went into liquidation before the mistake was finally uncovered.

Another law firm is being investigated for fraud after concocting spurious legal aid claims totalling nearly £100,000. The activity was uncovered by the LAA’s anti-corruption unit, and led to it writing off £6million in bad debts.

Tory MP Natalie Elphicke said the shocking waste raised ‘serious questions’ about how the £1.76billion annual legal aid budget is spent.

A Legal Aid Agency spokesman said: ‘These criminals did not receive a penny – it went to lawyers who ensured justice was served so they could ultimately be imprisoned for their crimes.’


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