A foreign killer has won the right to stay in Britain indefinitely – and keep his identity secret – after claiming his human rights would be breached if he was separated from his extended family.
The Somali man, who can only be identified by the initials MAI, was sent to prison for five years for manslaughter and has a string of other convictions, including acts of violence.
But even though he is unmarried and has no children, the 38-year-old killer claimed he could not be deported by the Home Office because it would breach his human rights to separate him from his mother, grown-up siblings, and other family.
Immigration judges ruled that MAI would have his rights infringed under Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights, which protects the right to “private and family life.”
He also claimed he would be attacked in his homeland by relatives of the man he killed, which his lawyers argued would be a further breach of human rights laws.
The judges also granted MAI anonymity, meaning he can never be publicly named.
“It can’t be right that such a dangerous man, a convicted killer, with a string of other violent offences to his name, can frustrate his deportation so easily by claiming family ties here.
“This is not even a case involving children or any other dependents. Frankly, his feet shouldn’t touch the ground.”
MAI has a long and violent criminal record. He was convicted of manslaughter of another Somali, known only by the initials FA, in 1998 at Cardiff Crown Court and jailed for five years.
After his release, in December 2004 he was convicted of affray and handed a community order, and then a nine month jail term four years later for unlawful wounding.
In February 2012 he was fined for being drunk and disorderly, and in May that year – his most recent offence – MAI was jailed for six months for common assault.
In August 2012, following his third and most recent prison term for violence, Theresa May, the Home Secretary, attempted to deport MAI on the grounds that it would be “conducive to the public good” because of his violent history.
MAI appealed and the lower tribunal of the Immigration and Asylum Chamber overturned Mrs May’s deportation order on Article 8 grounds.
MAI also claimed that he would be the target of a “blood feud” by the family of the FA, who he killed in Cardiff in 1997, who was a member of the Somali Habr Awal tribe.
The Home Office appealed against the decision arguing the court had “attributed insufficient weight to the public interest” and that MAI was a “persistent offender”.
But last month in the upper tribunal, Judge Nicholas Renton upheld the earlier ruling, meaning MAI cannot be deported.
“The panel found that the appellant had a family life in the UK with his mother, his adult siblings, and his niece, nephew and cousins,” said the court ruling.
“The appellant also had a private life. The panel concluded that the interference with that family and private life as a consequence of the appeallant’s deportation was not proportionate.
“In reaching that decision the panel found compelling and therefore exceptional factors in the appellant’s favour being the fact that excluding the time spent in prison, the appellant had lived in the UK for over 20 years.”
His risk of reoffending was “low” and he had not committed a serious offence since 2008, the court said.
Home Office spokesman said they would appeal against the decision.
A Home Office spokesman said: “We firmly believe foreign nationals who break the law should be deported and we are appealing the tribunal’s decision.
“Under our Immigration Bill, those with no right to be here will not be able to prevent deportation simply by dragging out the appeals process.
“The Bill will reduce 17 rights of appeal to four, and give the full force of law to our policy that foreign criminals should be deported despite their claim to a family life.”