Man faces extradition in ‘worst case of mistaken identification’, say lawyers

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Man faces extradition in ‘worst case of mistaken identification’, say lawyers

Pic: Hodge Jones & Allen

An innocent man wrongly accused of raping a six-year-old girl faces extradition to South Africa in what his lawyers have called ‘one of the worst cases of of mistaken identity’. Police carried out a dawn raid to arrest Godfrey Tshuma in his Essex home in connection with the rape of the six-year-old carried out in South Africa. Tshuma, originally from Zimbabwe, claims never to have been to the country other than for a few hours in transit.

Godfrey was preparing to take his wife to work at 6am in February this year when he was arrested. ‘I felt numb and I was in a state of shock,’ he recalled. The suspect of the crime was found to have different fingerprints as Tshuma, as well as a different date of birth. Despite his name being cleared in English courts, an international warrant remains out for his arrest. The father of four said he feared he would not see his wife or children again if extradited.

‘I have been through a living nightmare and I am so relieved I have been cleared.’ he said. ‘Despite this, I feel like it has ruined my life. People think there is no smoke without fire.’

Godfrey Tshuma had been held in Wandsworth Prison for a day before his family and friends were able to raise the £5,000 set for his release by the district judge at Westminster Magistrates. He claims that he was then taken into an unmarked car by plain clothed officers who did not show him identification.

‘We told them that it wasn’t my date of birth and the officers said it didn’t matter. They were really aggressive and just told me to get dressed as they were taking me away. They threatened to taser me if I did not comply with their order. They were treating me like a rapist and I felt violated.’

The Met Police revealed it had received a complaint and ‘the actions taken are being reviewed’. Sean Caulfield, a specialist in extradition law with the law firm Hodge Jones & Allen who has been instructed by Godfrey Tshuma, said that it was ‘one of the worst cases of mistaken identity I have ever seen and has deeply affected my client and his family’.