What about MY right to a family life, says father of girl killed by Iraqi criminal we can't throw out
By Jaya Narain
Last updated at 8:39 AM on 16th November 2010
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The father of a girl fatally injured in a hit-and-run crash pleaded with judges yesterday to deport the failed asylum seeker who was at the wheel.
Paul Houston handed a court an emotional letter spelling out the heartbreak caused by banned driver Aso Mohammed Ibrahim.
Ibrahim, a serial criminal, ran off leaving Mr Houston’s 12-year-old daughter Amy lying conscious but badly hurt beneath his car. She was just yards from her mother’s home.
Tragic accident: Amy
Tragic accident: Amy was just 12 when she was run down and killed by a car driven by a failed asylum seeker
Six hours later her parents had to take the agonising decision to have her life-support system switched off.
For seven years Ibrahim – a 33-year-old father of two – used human rights laws to remain in the country, claiming his right to life and to family life trumped attempts to return him to his native Iraq.
Yesterday, as senior immigration judges heard what is almost certainly the last legal opportunity to deport him, they were given Mr Houston’s letter.
It it, he told of the pain his daughter suffered and argued that his right to a family life with Amy should outweigh the rights of Ibrahim.
The 41-year-old engineer wrote: ‘She was fully aware what was happening around her even though she had the full weight of the engine block of the car on top of her, she was crying because she was frightened and in a lot of pain.'
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He recalled that doctors told him it was highly unlikely his daughter would survive and, even if she did, she would have suffered permanent damage.
And he wrote: ‘The image of Amy taking her final breath, dying a foot away from me as I sat by her bedside holding her hand praying for a miracle will stay with me till the day I die.’
The letter was sent to the Upper Tribunal of the Immigration and Asylum Chamber in Manchester because Mr Houston, of Darwen, Lancashire, was not given permission to address the judges directly.
He asked for Ibrahim’s rights to be weighed up properly, citing the Iraqi’s list of convictions, which include harassment and possession of drugs and cautions for burglary and theft. ‘I cannot understand by letting Mr Ibrahim remain in the UK what benefits he could bring to society,’ Mr Houston wrote.
‘Had he shown some real remorse for what he had done and not committed any more crimes I could accept that this was just an accident.’
ASO MOHAMMED IBRAHIM the failed asylum seeker (left)
Seeking justice: Paul Houston, 41, is still campaigning to have the man who killed his daughter deported
Still seeking justice: Paul Houston (right), 41, is campaigning to have Aso Mohammed Ibrahim (left), the man who killed his daughter, deported to Iraq
Ibrahim knocked down Amy in Blackburn in November 2003. She was outside the home of her mother, Joanne Cocker, from whom Mr Houston is divorced.
He was already serving a nine-month driving ban for not having insurance or a licence.
Despite leaving her to die, he was jailed for just four months after admitting driving while disqualified and failing to stop after an accident.
At the time, Ibrahim’s applications for asylum and citizenship had been rejected and although he was technically awaiting deportation, he was not returned to Iraq because the lack of security in the country would have breached his right to life.
Last year he won leave to remain in the UK after arguing that, because he’d had two children since being freed from prison, he had a right to a family life under Article 8 of the Human Rights Act. Every step of his legal case has been funded by legal aid.
But yesterday the UK Border Agency launched a last-ditch appeal against that decision in an attempt to have him kicked out.
After serving his sentence, Ibrahim, who came to the UK in 2001, met a British woman, Christina Richardson, mother of his children Harry, four, and Zara, three.
They claim they had an Islamic wedding in Birmingham, but there is no documentary proof.
Paul Houston's impassioned letter
Yesterday Matthew Barnes for the UK Border Agency said the judge who allowed Ibrahim leave to remain on the basis of his right to a family life did so incorrectly.
He said that although he had two children there was no evidence to suggest he was living at the same address and claimed a different address was given for him on one of the children’s birth certificates.
The judges were then told Ibrahim’s convictions included a further incident of driving while disqualified in 2006.
Last year he was also convicted of harassment after making threats to a Blackburn resident and their property.
After the hearing, Mr Houston said: ‘All I have asked for is justice for Amy. I have never asked for any type of revenge.
‘All I ask for is for him to return to his own country. I don’t think that’s an unreasonable request – not given like the way he left my daughter to die like a dog.’
Breaking down in tears, he said: ‘My life has been totally destroyed by what’s happened to Amy.
‘The truth is I have a low opinion of the legal system because it has not been good to me.
‘This all could have been avoided if Mr Ibrahim had not been allowed to roam the country. Then my daughter would still be alive today.’
The decision of the immigration hearing is expected next month.
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1329956/Father-girl-killed-Iraqi-criminal-What-MY-right-family-life.html#ixzz15R1Nr7kK