Decision on deportation of hit-and-run asylum seeker

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The Independent Online

An asylum seeker who left a 12-year-old girl dying under his car in a hit-and-run accident could be kicked out of Britain today after his victim's family fought to have him deported.

Aso Mohammed Ibrahim was awaiting deportation and banned from driving when he got behind the wheel and knocked down Amy Houston.

The Iraqi Kurd ran off leaving the youngster trapped under his Rover car. She died later in hospital from her injuries.

Her father, Paul Houston, said Ibrahim's four-month jail sentence was "ridiculous" and since the incident in Blackburn, Lancs, in 2003, has been campaigning to get him deported.

Ibrahim, who came to the UK in 2001, is believed to have exhausted his legal appeals to remain in the UK at the time of the crash and was to be sent back home.

But following a tortuous nine-year legal battle, he was later given the right to live here by a judge.

Following pressure from Amy's family, the UK Border Agency is appealing the judge's decision in a bid to have him deported.

His case will go before an appeal hearing at an Upper Tribunal of the Immigration and Asylum Chamber in Manchester later today.

Ibrahim pleaded guilty to driving while disqualified and without insurance and failing to stop after an accident, when he appeared in court in December 2003.

Magistrates were told though Amy had stepped into the road the accident would not have happened had Ibrahim not broken his driving ban.

But he was not deported at the time of the crash because of conditions in war-torn Iraq.

And after serving two months of his sentence he met a British woman and now has two children.

In 2006, Ibrahim was again convicted of driving a BMW car while disqualified and given a two-year supervision order and a three-year driving ban.

By 2008 it is believed all his appeals to stay in the UK had been finally exhausted and he was taken to a deportation centre, pending a final hearing.

But in November last year a judge granted him leave to remain after his lawyer's successfully argued he should be allowed to stay in the UK as he had now put down roots and started a family.

The decision provoked outrage from Amy's family and the then home secretary Alan Johnson gave permission for the UK Border Agency to launch an appeal against the decision to allow Ibrahim to stay.