Millionaire’s daughter dubbed London’s ‘most dangerous woman’ jailed for five years for stalking church warden after he turned her down could be freed within days after paperwork blunder
A convicted stalker once dubbed 伦敦‘s ‘most dangerous’ woman could be freed within days despite absconding during her trial two years ago after a paperwork error meant a key charge was left off her arrest warrant.
Farah Damji, 55, also known as Farah Dan, was jailed for five years in 2016 for stalking a church warden after meeting him on an online dating site.
Damji, daughter of South African-born property tycoon Amir Damji, had made her victim’s life ‘complete hell’ after he spurned her sexual advances.
A court heard she had attempted to ‘destroy his life’ and she was referred to as London’s ‘most dangerous woman’.
In 2020, she was sentenced to 27 months in prison for breaches of restraining orders while in prison, but the trial took place in her absence after she fled to Ireland.
She could be freed ‘within days’ a hearing heard today after her prosecutor claimed she has served all of her sentence once time in prison in Ireland is taken into account.
Southwark Crown Court heard in 2020 that while imprisoned for stalking her victim, Damji raised £5,000 by asking for donations on Twitter to hire a top QC to appeal her conviction in November 2016.
The socialite also published ‘character assassinations’ of individuals she was prohibited from referencing by restraining orders online during her prison term.
She then penned a letter to a government body accusing the investigating officer from the case of ‘stalking and harassing her’, Southwark Crown Court heard.
Farah Damji, 55, breached a restraining order twice and was convicted in her absence in 2020 after she fled the UK
She was arrested in Ireland last month and launched an appeal against her extradition to the UK, which has since failed
A European Arrest Warrant was issued to extradite Damji after it transpired that she had fled to Ireland. She has been wanted in the UK to serve the remainder of her prison sentence
Damji had also complained that a police officer had ‘scared’ her elderly mother by contacting her without permission in a message sent to Multi-Agency Public Protection Arrangements (MAPPA), an organisation which typically deals with sexual and violent offenders.
The officer is one of many names Damji is forbidden from mentioning under the terms of her restraining order.
But she launched an online campaign to ‘besmirch the character’ of the officer while in prison.
Judge Michael Gledhill told the court in her absence: ‘She has made herself absolutely scarce so that the police cannot find her.
‘In my view this defendant is extremely manipulative.
‘She has done her best to disrupt the smooth running of these proceedings from the moment she arrived at this court.
‘She is playing the system and she continues to play the system, in my view.’
Damji, who ran an art gallery in Manhattan in the 1990s, was convicted in February 2020 of two counts of breaching the restraining order in April 2018 and June 2018.
Damji was arrested in Dublin in August 2020 and remanded in custody for seven months before she obtained bail.
She was re-arrested in County Galway last month and remanded in custody as the UK government launched extradition proceedings.
She had fought against her surrender to the UK at the Supreme Court of Ireland in June and was on bail while judges considered her appeal.
But Irish police arrested her at a property on a bench warrant issued following her failure to appear at court for these hearings.
It is alleged that she broke bail conditions, but she could now be released regardless after an error meant this offence was not listed on the bench arrest warrant.
Farah Damji, 55, was previously dubbed ‘London’s most dangerous woman’
A judge at the High Court in Dublin finally cleared the way for her to be extradited to the UK last week after it was confirmed she would not face further charges in Ireland of failing to surrender to bail.
Prosecutor Richard Hearnden said: ‘The offence of failing to surrender to bail was not cited on the European Arrest Warrant so unfortunately this court has no jurisdiction to act.
‘I have had to conclude that there are no grounds for her to be charged with an offence under the bail act.
‘It’s a shame that that oversight happened but that’s the way the arrest warrant was filled in.
‘Failing to surrender to bail is a criminal offence in its own right and it should have been written on the arrest warrant.’
Rhiannon Cole, who represented Damji on behalf of her Irish lawyers, said she had spent a considerable amount of time on remand in Ireland.
Damji had been promised a document from the Irish authorities detailing how many days she had spent in prison in Ireland, but it had not arrived by the time of today’s hearing.
Ms Cole said the document would show that Damji had a maximum of 10 days left to serve on her sentence, or possibly no time at all.
Judge Jeffrey Pegden, KC, said today that Damji’s release date should be known in the next few hours.
He told her: ‘Your sentence has to be served by you. My earnest hope is that the document setting out the time in custody in Ireland is forthcoming in the next 24 hours as to the time you have left to serve.’
Damji was jailed for the first time in 2010 for a £17,500 benefit fraud and she has numerous convictions for fraud, theft and perverting the course of justice, as well as at least three separate convictions for stalking.
She will now serve the rest of her sentence until her release in the coming days.