Deported runaway returns

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The Independent Online
A SCHOOLGIRL runaway fooled immigration officials into deporting her to Turkey four days after her disappearance was highlighted on television.

The Home Office yesterday confirmed that Kerry Austin, 15, was put on an aircraft to Istanbul last Tuesday after pretending to immigration officers that she was an illegal immigrant. She was sent back the following day when it was realised she was not Turkish. The spokesman said Kerry had used a thick accent and answered many questions with a simple 'yes' or 'no'. She had been very convincing.

'We were called in by the police to assist on a Saturday morning and the Turkish Embassy was shut. There was no record of her being here legally and certain facts made sense. An enormous amount of taxpayer's money went into establishing she was here illegally and also for her fare. She obviously had her reasons for doing what she did.'

He said no investigation was needed. The girl, who vanished from her Essex home on 29 July, is believed to have been trying to reach friends she made on a fortnight's holiday with her mother to Turkey. Her disappearance was highlighted on ITV's Missing programme.