The mother of a student who was stabbed to death by an Iraqi migrant who wanted to commit a serious crime so he could be deported has today attacked Britain’s ‘broken’ asylum system.
Corisande Wheeler, a 51-year-old mother of two, said her son Ellis Wheeler, 18, was lucky to be alive after he was stabbed in the back while walking home from a computer science conference at Solent University. , Southampton, last year.
He spoke after Rebaz Mohammed, who arrived in the UK illegally on a small boat, was jailed for six years for the horrifying attack that was captured on harrowing CCTV footage.
It is understood that he arrived in the UK from Europe by boat shortly after serving a 12-week UK prison sentence for racially aggravated assault when he first visited.
He then attacked Wheeler in a random attack last December because he was disillusioned with life in the UK and believed it would help him get a taxpayer-funded flight home.
Mother of two, Corisande Wheeler, 51, said her son Ellis Wheeler, 18, was lucky to be alive after he was stabbed in the back.
This is the shocking moment Rebaz Mohammed stabbed Ellis Wheeler in the back last December
Ms Wheeler told MailOnline: “I find the fact that he had already served time and was not deported and was looking for a paid flight home sickening.” The sentence was too short.
Referring to Britain’s immigration policy, he said: ‘Something really has to happen. We’ve been going round and round in circles and it’s been going on for years, it’s been the same with every government. This has made me feel more passionate and concerned about it.
‘It gets quiet. We are not allowed to say what we really think for fear of wokism and racism and all that.
‘I don’t know what has happened to the country. He is crumbled and broken.
Ms Wheeler said the family had not been given answers as to why Mohammed, who was a violent offender, had been allowed to roam free without supervision.
She said: ‘It was said in court that he did it because he wanted to be deported. Seems like a weird way to do it and why wasn’t he deported the first time?
He had already been convicted of assault and other crimes and had been in prison.
“No one has given us any answers as to why he was able to do this even though he was known to be a dangerous person.”
Rebaz Mohammed, 28, (pictured) stabbed 18-year-old Ellis Wheeler, a Solent University student, while he was walking through a park in Southampton in the hope of being deported to Iraq.
‘Why could he come in a boat to begin with? Why was she in a hotel? She didn’t have a job.
‘What happened to my son could have been anyone’s fate. If the stab wound had been a couple of inches to the left, it would have been his spine. It could have been his neck. It’s pretty awful.
Ms Wheeler added: ‘Nobody wants to go through that. It’s been awful. You just have to draw a line below and go ahead and think that things could have been much worse, but it highlights the situation.
‘You hear this problem needs to be fixed and it’s just not happening. We are paying to put people like him up in hotels and this is happening in broad daylight in Southampton.
“It makes you wonder about the safety of everyone going about their business. It was a random attack, but that’s not particularly comforting.
Ellis, a first-year computer science student at Solent University, underwent emergency surgery after suffering a punctured lung in the attack in Hoglands Park, Southampton, which occurred days before Christmas last year.
Ms Wheeler believes her son’s life was saved by a quick-thinking friend who luckily passed by and stopped the flow of blood before paramedics arrived.
Ms Wheeler, who also has a 15-year-old son, said: “It was broad daylight at lunchtime.
I was coming back from some conferences. She was returning to her lodgings and had just stopped for lunch on the way.
The number of asylum applications skyrocketed last year to 74,751, out of 89,398 people, the highest since 2002.
The number of small boat arrivals peaked at almost 9,000 a month in summer
“Luckily, he was able to run quickly and it was incredibly lucky that his friend was there.”
‘His friend was running late on his way to a conference, which is unusual for him. He was coming from the opposite direction and his quick thinking of him helped save Ellis’s life.
He saw him run. He didn’t realize what had happened at first, but he seemed to know what to do.
He stopped the blood and called emergency services.
‘The man stayed in the park with his gun and his friend managed to take pictures.
“The police arrived quickly, probably because they were aware of him anyway.”
Ms Wheeler said: ‘I got a call from the hospital just as I was decorating the Christmas tree. It was every parent’s nightmare. I ran there. There were armed policemen around his curtain. They decided that he needed surgery and he was hospitalized for five days.
READ MORE: Inside the £100-a-night taxpayer-funded Bournemouth beach hotel where Iraqi Channel migrant became disillusioned with life in Britain so stabbed a teenager in a bid to be deported
“Fortunately, he was quite fit beforehand and physically he has made a full recovery.”
Describing the impact on her family, Ms Wheeler, who lives on Hayling Island, Hants, said: “We’ve had a lot of family trauma. We are lucky because things could have been much worse.
‘My son is back at university and moving on. Luckily he is very resistant. We are made of harder stuff here.
‘He had to delay his exams that he should have taken in January until the end of this year, so he will have twice as much to study at the end of this year.
‘The sad thing is that he doesn’t really tend to date. He’s not one to drink. He is very happy to stay and master his cooking skills.
He has recovered physically, but something like that has to have had an impact. It cannot not have an effect.
‘The university has been very good. They have offered advice and everything you need.
He is a very laid back person. She is very kind and takes everything in stride. It has been quite difficult to gauge the impact it has had on him.
I’m pretty sure he would talk to me if he was fighting. He thinks he was lucky and that it could have been worse. He’s just trying to put it behind him and run his course.
A Home Office spokesman said: “Foreign criminals who abuse our hospitality by committing crimes will face the full force of the law, including deportation at the first opportunity for those eligible.”