Deported to the Philippines: man whose crime was breaching Asbo

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The Independent Online

A young man has been deported to the Philippines, a country he left as a four-year-old, for breaching an antisocial behaviour order.

John Garcia, 20, is faced with building a new life in a country where he has no close relatives and does not speak a word of the language.

He is thought to be the first person to have been removed from Britain for failing to abide by the terms of his Asbo. Mr Garcia came to Anglesey as a boy to join his Filipino mother, went to school on the island and only speaks English and some Welsh.

But he never applied for UK citizenship and because of that omission has been sent back to his birthplace after drifting into a life of petty crime.

Refugee groups accused the Home Office of taking extreme action against Mr Garcia, who is threatening to bring a case against the Government under human rights legislation.

His mother, Rosanna Glover, was not married to his American father. She married a Briton and moved to Beaumaris, Anglesey, where her husband was a publican.

Friends said Mr Garcia known to them as JR had been known to the police for some years, but went badly off the rails two years ago when his stepfather died.

He has convictions for burglary, theft and possession of drugs. After completing a sentence in a young offenders' institution for breaching an Asbo, he was picked up and sent to an immigration detention centre.

Proceedings to remove him were launched by the Border and Immigration Agency and, after two unsuccessful appeals, he finally lost his battle against deportation. He is understood to have been judged to present a medium risk to the public and a high risk of reoffending.

He was flown out of the country at the weekend after bidding an emotional farewell to his mother.

Before leaving, he told a Welsh newspaper his treatment was "cruel and inhumane". He said: "I know no one [in the Philippines], have no money or job and nowhere to stay. It's wrong and unjust but no one will help me."

His treatment has divided opinion in Anglesey. Hefin Thomas, a local councillor, said. "For whatever reason, he's just kept on offending and a lot of people will say it is about time something was done."

The Home Office refused to comment on the deportation. But a spokesman said: "Foreign nationals are expected to obey the laws of this country in the same way as everybody else. If they do not, they can expect to face prosecution and removal from Britain."

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