Almost exactly a year ago, I posted this about the case of Mohammed Ibrahim, who was jailed for a derisory four months for running over a young girl, Amy Houston, in 2003. He knocked her down, saw what he had done, and ran away, leaving her dying underneath his car. Ibrahim did not hold a driving licence at the time of the accident and had previous criminal convictions.
At the time of my original post, he had appealed against the deportation order following his sentence, citing his 'right' to a family life under Article 8 of the Human Rights Act. The UK Border Agency appealed against this decision (good for them), but today we learn that two senior immigration judges have ruled that he can remain.
Ibrahim has been crafty. On his release from prison, he met an English woman and they now have two children. This is the ultimate 'get out of jail free' card for the clever asylum-seeker, of course. The 'right' to a family life trumps everything else in the crazy world of rights and entitlements.
If he wants to keep his family together, what is stopping them following him to Iraq when he is deported? If she loves him enough to bear him two children, surely that is a small price to pay for staying with the love of your life? If he is the love of your life, that is. Perhaps she is unwilling to go: "Hey I didn't agree to that!"
It is ironic, and deeply disgusting, that Ibrahim's so-called 'right' to a family life has trumped the more ancient right of Amy's parents to have their daughter alive and well, and not dying in the gutter because some cowardly criminal chooses to run away rather than face the consequences of his actions. (Just remember: she was alive when he left the scene, and might have survived had he called the emergency services before running away. Her father had the heart-breaking task of turning off her life support several hours later.) I'm sure the two senior judges would have wished it otherwise, and that their 'hands were tied' by the legislation (European law over-rides every other law, no matter how ancient), but when will someone within the system stand up and say that this is WRONG?
I despair of my country.