Knife robber loses fight against deportation

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A young robber who used a hunting knife with a 6-7in (15-18cm) blade to threaten and steal valuables from a passenger on a train can be deported, the High Court has ruled.

Daha Essa, a Somali by birth who became a Dutch national and then moved with his mother to the UK aged 12, now faces being sent back to the Netherlands.

Essa was sentenced at Snaresbrook Crown Court, London, in April 2008 to five years detention for what the trial judge described as a “very frightening” attack.

The Home Office told him in 2010 that he was to be deported in the interests of public security.

Essa, now 23, appealed unsuccessfully to the First Tier Tribunal (Immigration and Asylum Chamber) which said he was guilty of a “shocking” offence. The FTT also noted “a certain risk of him relapsing into crime and causing serious harm to others”.

Essa applied for a judicial review before Mrs Justice Lang at the High Court in London after he was refused permission to renew his appeal to the Upper Tribunal (Immigration and Asylum Chamber).

His lawyers argued that the FTT failed to consider the relevance of his “greater potential for rehabilitation” in the UK than in the Netherlands, as required under EU regulations.

Essa’s ambition was to train as a plumber in England, with financial support from his siblings.

His legal team also contended that the FTT should have considered whether his removal “was in the interests of the EU as a whole”.

Mrs Justice Lang rejected all Essa’s grounds of challenge. Clearing the way for deportation, the judge ruled that the FTT did not misunderstand assessments of the risk of him re-offending. Nor had it given undue weight to the seriousness of the robbery.