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Family Law

The leading authority on all aspects of family law

17 JUN 2009

IMMIGRATION: DS (India) v Secretary of State for the Home Department

The husband was an Indian citizen; the wife was a British citizen. The husband had obtained indefinite leave to remain in the UK. Having built up huge gambling debts, the husband resorted to crime, and was eventually sentenced to 4 years 3 months' imprisonment for armed robbery. A year later the wife divorced him, however, the couple had subsequently reconciled and were planning to remarry. The wife and the couple's adopted child had frequently visited the husband in prison. Notwithstanding the husband's purported reform and apparent commitment to rehabilitation, the Secretary of State took the decision to deport him. The wife claimed that neither she nor the child would move with the husband to India, because of her responsibilities towards her elderly parents. The tribunal found that the husband had established a protected private and family life, but that deportation was proportionate, given the possibility that the man would re-offend.

The appeal was dismissed; the tribunal had taken into account the interests of the other family members, including the child and even, to some extent, the wife's elderly parents. The tribunal had reflected on the circumstances of the husband, the wife and the child, had concluded that removal would hurt their interests, but been satisfied that nonetheless removal was proportionate. The risk of the husband re-offending was only one aspect of the public interest in deporting him; public interest in deportation of those who committed serious crimes went well beyond depriving the offender in question from the chance to re-offend within the jurisdiction: it extended to deterring and preventing serious crime generally and to upholding public abhorrence of such offending.

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