Two Channel migrants, who attacked police on a French beach, have been jailed.
The pair were part of a violent mob, who confronted police as the officers attempted to stop the migrants launching their small boat towards the UK.
Salih Taib Abdullah, 33, and Ahmed Omar Saleh Khater, 25, were sentenced at Canterbury Crown Court today to a total of two years and two months’ imprisonment for attempting to arrive in the UK illegally.
Both were involved in the violent disorder, involving a large group of migrants on a beach near Calais in June.
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A team of UK-funded gendarmes were on patrol in Oye Plage, a few miles from the French port, when they came across the group of fifty-one migrants in the process of launching their boat.
As the officers attempted to stop the launch, a number of the migrants armed themselves with makeshift weapons and rocks, causing injuries to the officers.
The mob then managed to launch their small boat and successfully crossed the Channel into UK waters.
The court heard that following rapid consultation between UK and French authorities, the two defendants were quickly identified and arrested by officers from the Home Office’s Criminal and Financial Investigations unit as soon as they reached Dover.
The two migrants were sent to prison
Body-worn camera footage from the gendarmes was played in court, and showed the scenes of violent disorder, as the group tried to prevent law enforcement from stopping their launch.
The two defendants could be clearly seen confronting the French officers.
The Home Office said British and French authorities “worked closely together, at speed, to ensure the offenders were brought to justice as swiftly as possible”.
Both Abdullah, from Iraq, and Khater, from Sudan, pleaded guilty to attempting to arrive in the UK without valid entry clearance at an earlier hearing.
Charlie Eastaugh, Director of International Operations for the Small Boats Operational Command said: "We will not tolerate violence against our French partners, particularly by those attempting dangerous and illegal small boat launches which threaten the border security of the UK.
"Tension on French beaches is increasing due to the successful efforts of law enforcement in frustrating this organised criminal enterprise. Incidents like this highlight the complex and brave work of our French colleagues in the face of challenging conditions.
"We will continue to work hand-in-hand with them to tackle the criminal gangs behind these deadly crossings, to protect our borders and save lives.”
"So far this year, almost 22,300 people have crossed the English Channel in small boats.
More than 200 migrants have crossed on Friday.
The Home Office has confirmed that so far this year, French police has prevented 15,000 migrants from making the journey by small boats.