A remarkable legal blunder by the Home Office has allowed a violent criminal to remain in Britain.
Hazhar Hassan Taha, who is a 24 year-old Iraqi man, was jailed for 17 months for violent disorder. After he was released, we won a legal challenge against deportation on human rights grounds. Nevertheless, the Home office appealed to a senior judge, as part of a policy of determination to fight cases where there has been an apparent abuse of human rights legislation. A critical error was made by the immigration officials who failed to submit the legal paperwork and later failed to respond to requests from the court. What this error meant was that Upper Immigration Tribunal Judge Richard Chalkey dismissed the Home Office case without a hearing. Thus, now Taha has the right to freely remain in the country indefinitely.
This case shows clearly how inadequacies within the Home Office itself are spoiling the Government’s aim to deport more foreign criminals. Furthermore, Theresa May who is the Home Secretary has expressed her irritation with the failure of immigration judges to observe rules that are designed to restrict the use of the right to private life. However, the case of Taha shows how failings within the department of the Home Secretary herself contribute to the problem.
Furthermore, other parties have campaigned for human rights reform by pointing out to the fact that false human rights claims have to be scaled back because they frustrate the British deportation system.
Taha lives in Manchester. He has come to Britain in 2005 as an asylum seeker. His claim for refugee status was rejected within months but he still stayed in the United Kingdom. He was arrested in February 2008 for violent disorder. He was involved in a mass fight which happened in Manchester where at least three other men were also involved. The police reported that weapons such as knives and hammers were used in the fight but it is uncertain whether Taha used the weapons. Taha himself was stabbed in the face and neck during the fight and after he was released from hospital, the police arrested him for his role in the violence. After Taha went on trial a year later, he escaped half way through the proceedings and in 2009, he married a British-born Muslim woman. The act of marriage to a British citizen can play a vital role in creating a defence against deportation if a criminal can show that his he has significant ties to this country and any deportation would have a disproportionate impact on his family.
Nevertheless, he was abiding unlawfully in the country and the legal failings have allowed for this to happen.