Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Human Rights Appeal Saves Baby Killer From Deportation

Cynthia Barker writes...This week I read that a foreign nurse who force-fed her baby to death has successfully appealed against her deportation on 'Article 8' grounds that it would breach her right to a family life.

The Daily Mail reported that the Ghanaian woman won her appeal to stay in Britain under human rights laws which puts the rights of her children (family life) before the Home Office right to deport a convicted foreign criminal.

The 33-year-old former nurse had been jailed for causing the baby’s death, yet has now been granted anonymity by the Judge.

The Home Office said the ruling was ‘disappointing’ and are considering appealing against the decision in the higher Court of Appeal.

Here’s her story. After serving her three-year prison sentence, she was released in April last year to look after her three surviving children.

The Home Secretary Theresa May has made several attempts to remove the woman, who can be referred to only as GHA.

This case, the latest in a long line of successful appeals by convicted foreign criminals, will raise protests about the use of the European Convention on Human Rights to avoid deportation.

The African nurse came to the UK on a student visa in 2000 and remained in the UK. During her trial it was revealed that she used a small milk jug to tip baby rice African corn porridge and chicken soup into her child’s mouth.

Conservative MP and Lawyer Dominic Raab called for the reining-in of human rights laws, and said: ‘Many people will look at this case, a mother jailed for force-feeding her baby and feel it reflects the warped nature of our human rights laws today.

‘The argument is that she is being separated from her kids but not only was she separated from them in prison but there were also care proceedings brought against her. 

'The children have also spent periods of time in Ghana so the arguments for not deporting her fall away. It shows how the judges have expanded and shifted the goalposts from human rights in a way that is pretty arbitrary and perverse.

‘It does not reflect anything written into the ECHR and certainly not anything Parliament has agreed to.
‘Article 8 is being used by convicted, jailed criminals to stay in this country. This isn’t the only case. I actually think the article can be a threat to family life, in particular vulnerable children and partners.’

"Crazy" human rights laws

Raab pointed out that around 90 per cent of successful deportation appeals, up to 400 appeal cases each year,  are using ‘Article 8’: ‘Article 8 is the single biggest problem for deporting a serious foreign criminal and this is something that has only really developed in the last seven years. What will it be like in another seven? It could be almost impossible to deport someone.’

Another MP Peter Bone described the use of human rights law to protect the nurse ‘crazy’. He added: ‘The ECHR was never intended to protect people who carry out terrible crimes from being sent back to their own country.’ 

The three-year sentence handed to GHA at the trial in 2011 meant that under Home Office rules she should have been up for automatic deportation. 

However, attempts to deport her following her release from prison were rejected after she appealed and won her case at a lower immigration tribunal in February.

When the Home Office lodged an appeal to overturn the decision at the Upper Tribunal Immigration and Asylum Chamber last month, the earlier decision was upheld. 

Unbelievably, a social services report deemed her children were under ‘no significant risk of harm’ form the child killer and described the family as a ‘close, committed unit with strong cultural and religious beliefs’. Her partner was granted custody of the three children following care proceedings in 2010 and the family has lived in a three-bed London home since GHA’s release. 

The Mail added that in her trial it emerged that GHA, who had already applied for indefinite leave to remain (ILR) in the UK when her child died, had paid ‘little attention’ to social services who had been involved with the family.

It added: ‘Through the recently passed Immigration Act, we are making it easier to remove people from the UK and harder for individuals to prolong their stay with spurious appeals, by cutting the number of appeal rights from 17 to four.

‘It will also ensure that judges deal with Article 8 claims in the right way — making clear the right to a family life is not regarded as absolute and unqualified.’ Source: Daily Mail.

Judges are often criticized for their human rights appeal judgments, but at the end of the day they are only upholding the law. If her children, who may now be British Citizens, have grown up in the UK it would be difficult to see how a judge could rule that she should be deported under the current Immigration Rules and Human Rights laws.

If you need advice on any immigration matter, EU or UK immigration law, or want to appeal against a refusal, call Cynthia Barker on 07850 307687 or 0208 731 5972 or email her your details to Cynthia Barker is a qualified OISC Registered Immigration Adviser, with 15 years experience in immigration matters, with a team of Level 3 Immigration Law Practitioners, Concept Care Solutions, Middlesex House, 29-45 High Street, Edgware, HA8 7UU.

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