Appeal judges today halted the deportation of a convicted rapist and ordered a new hearing which must take into account his rights to family life.
Sukdarshan Singh was appealing against an Asylum and Immigration Tribunal finding which upheld the decision of the Home Secretary to return the illegal immigrant to India.
Lord Justice Aikens, giving the ruling of the three judges at the Court of Appeal, said 55-year-old Mr Singh came to the UK unlawfully in 1984 and had been here since then without permission.
Four years after arrival he raped a 59-year-old woman in Bridgend, Wales, where he had a market stall.
He married in 1991 and his wife did not know about the crime until 2006 when he was arrested for driving with excess alcohol and DNA evidence linked him to the rape.
Mr Singh was sentenced to four years six months jail at Cardiff Crown Court and his application for indefinite leave to remain in the UK was refused in 2008 because of his rape conviction.
Lord Justice Aikens said the "overall question" in the case was whether deportation would be a disproportionate interference with his private and family life protected by the European Convention on Human Rights.
He said the AIT had concluded that if family life was to continue, Mr Singh's wife and two teenage children, who are British citizens, would also have to go to India.
But the tribunal had not considered the effect of the move on the two children, who had lived all their lives in the UK and this was an error of law, said the judge.
He said the AIT should have balanced the threat of family breakdown, the effect on the children and feasibility of a move to India with the aim of deportation in protecting the public.
"I am not convinced that when the balance is struck it would inevitably be on the side of deportation," he said.
He allowed the appeal and ordered that a different tribunal should reconsider the case.Reuse content