Appeal over hit-and-run asylum seeker

Joe Churcher,Pa
Friday 17 December 2010 17:17 GMT

The UK Border Agency will appeal against a tribunal ruling preventing the deportation of a failed asylum seeker who killed a 12-year-old girl in a hit-and-run driving incident, Immigration Minister Damian Green said today.

Mr Green's announcement that the Government would renew efforts to remove Iraqi Kurd Aso Mohammed Ibrahim from the UK came after Prime Minister David Cameron expressed his "great" anger over the case.

"We are extremely disappointed at the tribunal's decision and are appealing," Mr Green said in a statement issued by the Home Office.

"He was convicted of committing an offence that led to the tragic death of a 12-year-old child and it is our view that he should be removed."

Mr Cameron said he hoped for a successful appeal against the ruling by the Upper Tribunal of the Immigration and Asylum Chamber.

Ibrahim was told yesterday that he can stay in the UK despite his conviction for driving while disqualified and failing to stop after the accident - which led to the death of Amy Houston - because he has subsequently had children in Britain.

Ibrahim, 33, left Amy dying under the wheels of his car in Blackburn, Lancashire, in 2003 while already banned from driving.

He was jailed for four months but allowed to remain in the UK on his release, despite having a string of criminal convictions.

Asked about the case at a press conference in Brussels earlier, Mr Cameron said: "My personal response is one of great anger that this is allowed to happen.

"Here we have an Iraqi asylum seeker convicted of an offence that led to the death of a child and yet we are being told that there is no way that this person can be deported to Iraq.

"I think that that is wrong and I very much hope that the UK Border Agency will be able to appeal."

Amy's father Paul, 41, from Darwen, Lancs, has conducted a seven-year legal battle to have him deported and last month handed a letter to judges urging them to bring his "years of hell" to an end.

Yesterday, two senior immigration judges rejected the appeal after hearing lawyers claimed human rights laws permitted him to remain in the country on the grounds of his right to life and to family life.

Mr Houston denounced the decision as a "perversity" and said it showed the Human Rights Act worked in favour of criminals over victims.

Mr Cameron today said Iraq should not be seen as a country to which it is too dangerous to deport people.

"Britain has spent billions of pounds and lost many, many very good people - some killed, some wounded - to make Iraq a safer, more stable country," said the Prime Minister.

"We should not be in a position where, having done all these things, we are simply told it is not possible to return a person there."

Mr Cameron said the European Convention on Human Rights said nothing about deportation, and that legal interpretations by judges and lawyers sometimes "fly in the face of common sense".

"I think that's wrong," he said. "It should be the case when someone commits a crime like this and they could be deported back to a country that you've expended a lot of blood and treasure to make a safer country, that should be allowed to happen."

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