A man whose daughter was killed by a failed asylum-seeker has spoken of his fury after he was allowed to remain in the UK.
Hit-and-run driver Aso Mohammed Ibrahim, 33, an Iraqi Kurd, left 12-year-old Amy Houston dying under the wheels of his car while already banned from driving.
He was jailed for four months but allowed to remain in the UK on his release. Backed by Amy’s father Paul Houston, the UK Border Agency appealed against that decision.
Mr Houston, 41, from Darwen, Lancashire, was left to make the decision to turn off Amy’s life support machine hours after the crash in Blackburn, Lancs, in November 2003. He has since campaigned to get Ibrahim deported in a tortuous legal battle spanning seven years.
The Upper Tribunal of the Immigration and Asylum Chamber sitting in Manchester also heard Ibrahim, who now has a family in the UK, had a string of criminal convictions.
But Ibrahim’s lawyers claimed human rights laws permitted him to remain in the country on the grounds of his right to life and to family life, and two senior immigration judges have now rejected the appeal.
Reacting to the ruling, Mr Houston said: “I’m really angry. We should all be angry. It is a ridiculous state of affairs,” he said. “I’m battling away here on my own. This is a perversity of our society. What are the judges saying here? They are saying it doesn’t matter what you do when you come here, who you kill, what laws you break, as long as you have a child here you can stay?
“You work hard, play by the rules, pay your taxes and this is how you get treated. What does that say about politicians, our leaders and the legal system? It’s a joke. Where are my human rights?”
Lawyers for the Border Agency asked for Ibrahim to be deported on the grounds that the judge who originally allowed him leave to remain on the basis of his right to a family life did so incorrectly. Although he now has two children, there was little evidence he was living at the same address and so could not claim a right to family life, it was argued.
But Senior Immigration Judges Lane and Taylor, in a reserved judgment now made public, rejected the appeal. They said the original decision should stand but added that the outcome might well have been different if the process to remove Ibrahim had begun before he had children.