Asylum seeker stabbed man 21 times....but he won't be deported
A failed asylum seeker who stabbed another man 21 times and killed him has been allowed to stay in the UK on human rights grounds.
The Sri Lankan killer successfully brought a legal challenge under Article 3 of the Human Rights Act – which ministers are now poised to restrict.
The case is all the more shocking because the killing took place years after the criminal's asylum claim had been rejected – yet he was still in Britain.
The Upper Tribunal Immigration and Asylum Chamber heard that the killer, who can only be identified by the initials GR, arrived in Britain in 2002 when he was 28.
He claimed asylum on the grounds he had been detained as a Tamil during the Sri Lankan civil war, but his claim was rejected by the Home Office.
He appealed, and lost. GR then lodged another appeal on human rights grounds – including under Article 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights, which prohibits 'torture or inhuman or degrading treatment', and was enshrined in British law under Labour's Human Rights Act. In 2004 his appeal was again rejected.
'The claimant committed a number of criminal offences following the refusal of his appeal,' said a ruling by Upper Tribunal Judge Stephen Smith. 'Initially, the offences were at the lower end of the spectrum of severity.'
But in 2006 GR was handed two short jail terms for assault, and later that year a further assault led to a hospital order.
Judge Smith said: 'The claimant went on to commit a far more serious criminal offence in 2010. 'He stabbed a man living with him at the sheltered accommodation they shared 21 times. The victim died.
'The claimant pleaded guilty to the offence of manslaughter by reason of diminished responsibility. He was subject to a hospital order.' In September last year, GR, now 45 and a diagnosed paranoid schizophrenic, renewed his asylum bid. In the lower asylum and immigration tribunal, a judge allowed GR's case on Article 3 grounds.
It was ruled 'it was likely that he would face a real risk of cruel, inhumane or degrading treatment at the border' of Sri Lanka.
Home Secretary Priti Patel appealed and at a hearing in December, Home Office lawyers argued that the junior judge 'failed to have proper regard to the two previous decisions' and there had been legal errors in her decision.
But the Upper Tribunal upheld GR's appeal under Article 3. 'It was well within the range of findings open to the judge to find that... there was a risk that the claimant would be subject to cruel, inhumane or degrading treatment,' Judge Smith's ruling declared.
The Upper Tribunal also upheld reporting restrictions which mean GR cannot be identified, even though his name would have been made public at his criminal trial.