Saturday, August 27, 2011
An Algerian asylum seeker who committed more than 25 crimes after arriving in Britain could be awarded damages after claiming that he was unlawfully detained by immigration authorities
Algerian Amin Sino sought a High Court review of the Home Office decision to detain him in 2006. He argued that he had been unlawfully detained and was entitled to damages. Deputy High Court Judge John Howell QC said that Sino had frustrated Home Office deportation attempts and was deemed a risk to the community. Although he agreed that people would be outraged by the ruling, with the payment coming from the taxpayer, he said failure to co-operate with immigration officials was not a justification for detention. Sino claimed asylum in 2001 but was refused and a subsequent appeal was dismissed after he failed to appear for hearings, the judge said. Over the next few years he was convicted of shoplifting, theft, handling stolen goods and drug possession, London’s High Court heard. He was detained by immigration authorities at the end of a prison sentence in 2006, pending deportation. But Home Office officials were unable to obtain travel documents from Algerian authorities that would have allowed him to be sent back.