A key witness to a Jamaican murder who claimed he would be killed if he returned to the country has launched an appeal against a Home Office deportation order.

Atiba Simpson (23) told an Immigration Appeals Authority panel in Stafford he came to the Midlands in 2001 after giving evidence at a trial. He said he was shot in the head after the hearing and had also been stopped by four men who threatened to cut his throat.

Simpson, formerly of Preston Road, Hockley Green, Birmingham, was jailed for three-and-a-half-years at Birmingham Crown Court in April 2003 and recommended for deportation after he pleaded guilty to possessing drugs with intent to supply.

Simpson, a father-of-two serving his sentence in Stafford Prison, said he decided to come to England after witnessing a murder where the killer was jailed for 16 years.

He said: "I am in danger if I return because people want to kill me. The man who was sentenced wants to kill me and is trying to get me.

"I was a key witness to the murder in 1998. The trial was a few months later but I had no protection. I was at a party when I was shot in the head. I had to keep on moving hoping they might leave me alone. I could not leave because I did not have any money.

"Then I was stopped in the street and people threatened to cut my throat."

A decision on the appeal will be made within the next four weeks.