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Convicted robber wins deportation appeal because he has a girlfriend in the UK | Immigration Matters

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Immigration judges have allowed a convicted robber to stay in Britain on human rights ‘article 8’ grounds simply because he has a girlfriend in this country, the Telegraph reports.

The Sri Lankan was jailed for 15 months but fought off an official attempt to deport him to his homeland because he said his human right to a “private and family life” was not being respected as he was going out with a woman here.

The case will increase concerns over the ease with which foreign criminals use human rights legislation to stay in Britain – an issue highlighted by The Sunday Telegraph’s “End The Human Rights Farce” campaign.

Only the sketchiest details of the case were released by judges because of a policy which claims that naming foreign criminals who get to stay in Britain would put them at “potential risk” – a move condemned as a betrayal of open justice by politicians.

The unnamed man had first come to Britain, aged 13, in 2001, failed to gain asylum but was given exceptional leave to remain before he committed the robbery, of which no details have been published by the immigration tribunal system.

As well as refusing to name the criminal, the tribunal kept secret all details of the crime, where he lives in the United Kingdom and exactly how he reached this country.

The 22-year-old was convicted of robbery in December 2008, sentenced to 15 months in prison, and served with a deportation order by the Home Office.

He then fought an 11-month legal battle to be allowed to stay, first taking his case to an asylum and immigration panel, which backed him.

When the Home Office appealed he hired a high-flying barrister who had previously worked at the European Court of Human Rights.

The barrister, Claire Physsas, successfully argued that because he had a girlfriend in Britain, he had “established a private and family life”.

Judge Christopher Hanson said that even though the 22-year-old and his girlfriend of five years were no more than a “courting couple” he should stay in the country – and rejected a claim by the Home Office that because their relationship was “at some distance” it did not amount to private and family life.

In his written judgment, Judge Hanson conceded that the existence of a girlfriend did not amount to having a family, but ruled that the relationship, on top of “social ties” in Britain, meant that the robber had a “private life” which entitled him to stay in Britain.

Experts described the latest case as “absurd” and said it amounted to a “grotesque misuse” of the Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights, while politicians warned that giving anonymity to criminals struck at the heart of the principle of open justice.

Dominic Raab, the Conservative MP spearheading a parliamentary campaign for human rights reform, said: “This ruling defies common sense. A convicted robber should not be able to claim family rights to frustrate a deportation order, based on the fact that he has a girlfriend.

“It adds insult to injury that the tribunal is applying double standards by not disclosing the identity of the offender without a clear justification. Decisions like this bring the British justice system into disrepute.”

David Davis, the former Conservative shadow home secretary, said: “Yet again we see an unwarranted extension of Article 8.

“This Article is already subject to grotesque misuse and is bringing human rights legislation into disrepute as well as undermining our criminal justice system. If evidence were needed that this system needs reform, then this case is it.”

He added that the criminal’s name should be made public: “It is a fundamental tenet of British justice that justice is seen to be done. When the courts themselves cover things up one must come to the conclusion that this does not lead to good law or to confidence in the system.”

A UK Border Agency spokesman said: “We were very disappointed with the courts ruling in this case and it was in the public’s interest that we tried to remove this individual from the UK.

“Any foreign criminal serving more than 12 months in prison is automatically considered for deportation.” Source: The Telegraph.

Last week the Home Office announced that it may challenge a court decision to allow former X Factor contestant Gamu Nhengu and her family to stay in the UK.

Officials at the UK Border Agency said they were “disappointed” at the ruling – which overturned an order that the family should return to Zimbabwe.

See also:

X-Factor Gamu’s right to stay in UK ‘may be appealed’ by Home Office

Immigration News Weekly Round up 15 May 2011

Glasgow Caledonian University Tier 4 sponsorship license back within weeks of suspension

Rules for European workers in the UK

Albert Einstein’s 1933 UK immigration landing card found, but would he have been allowed entry in 2011?

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11 Responses to “Convicted robber wins deportation appeal because he has a girlfriend in the UK”
Read them below or add one

  1. Violet Broome says :

    I have been reading the comments posted here and agree wholeheartedly in this so called democratic society our politicians decide our lives for us. My boyfriend is facing deportation by UKBA his only crime was to work to support himself in this country. He has never been in trouble with the police in the 5+ years he has been here. He has a judicial review hearing set for 25 November 2011 but the Home Office are seeking to remove him despite this hearing. Indeed in his immigration history they deliberately omitted this hearing date from the report thereby preventing him from getting an injunction. Most of the people who come here it is to make a better life for themselves and if like my boyfriend they are running for their lives it is even more important not to send them back but the home office do not want to listen. He is now detained at Campsfield House in Oxford for the second time a prison because they are prisons not detention centres let us say it as it is, Campsfield house has already had two fatal suicides the latest in August this year. I have to ask myself how many more must die like this before the Home Office wakes up and realises they are carry out executions even if they do not kill these people themselves. Wake up Britain and lets fight for true democracy and put an end to these senseless deaths once and for all.

  2. […] course here (because you don't speak English), have a sprog and you're in for life. According to this, you may not even need a child. Originally Posted by stek Not strictly true, that's only […]

  3. […] In one of several recent high profile ‘human rights’ cases, Immigration Matters reported that immigration judges allowed a convicted robber to stay in Britain on human rights ‘article 8’ grounds simply because he has a …. […]

  4. who are we to judge this robber,judge not lest you be judged,whoever we are and whatever we have done wrong
    we still have human rights wherever we are on this pl
    anet,Jesus Christ said Him without sin cast the first
    stone. Everyone has the human right to be with or mar
    ry the person they love,it is not the role of any pol
    itician to separate people who have a family life !!!
    how would politicians like their wife or child remove
    from this country,do unto others as you would have th
    em do unto you !!! the people in control of our count
    ry are acting like little gods,deciding the future of
    two people that love each other and have the human ri
    ght for family life,but of course there are those who
    want that right taken away from us,cause they have no
    human love and compassion in their hearts !!! many so
    called immigration laws i believe are not based in tr
    ue law and would never stand up in a court of law,you
    shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free

  5. stop deporting them , they do no wrong only striving to make ends meet.no human is illegal on this planet so stop using that word illegal migrant.

  6. Did you appeal? You did not give the full background to your case, which does look unfair.

  7. it is absurd and i feel mad while reading this column, convicted robber allowed to stay in the uk because he has a girlfriend that is british, what about my case, i worked as a nurse for 8 years payed my obligations, had a partner with her two kids and then we had a 5 year old daughter, but still they’ve managed to deport me back to the philippines. where is the justice in there.

  8. some of this judges needs to have their brains checked,i voted for this present gorvenment and one of the reasons was because they were going to change the soo called human rights law which has made a lot of British people second class citizens,next time,i will vote for the BNP and so will lots of people.

  9. this is not right convicted person can stay because he has a girlfriend ..how about the safety of the public im sure he will do it again and again as he get away on his offence..the immigration must changed the way they deal to convicted person..thats why there’s alot of people here doing bad things bcoz of the softness of the goverment..this guy must send homeif the girlfriend want she should go to him not to stay here..later on this guy will apply for citizenship ang im sure he will get it..i won’t surprise…..:(

  10. […] Convicted robber wins deportation appeal because he has a girlfriend in the UK […]

  11. […] Convicted robber wins deportation appeal because he has a girlfriend in the UK […]

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