Failed asylum seeker who killed former Royal Marine cannot be deported

A failed asylum seeker who killed a former Royal Marine in a hit-and-run crash has escaped deportation because of a loophole which means his crime is not considered "serious enough" by the Home Office.

Jean Mukadi, who has had asylum applications rejected three times and failed a driving test seven times, was jailed for four months after fatally injuring Simon Lawrence while driving without a licence or insurance.

But he was not sent back to his native Democratic Republic of Congo because foreign offenders can only be deported if they have been jailed for at least 12 months or if they have been convicted of serious gun or drug crimes.

It means that Mukadi, 33, can remain in Britain while he fights a lengthy appeal against the decision to deny him asylum. He has already served more than half his sentence and it remains unclear whether he has been freed.

Alison Roberts, Lawrence's sister and a former police officer, said: "This is ridiculous. Mukadi has had his asylum claim refused three times and in court it was said he had failed to get a driving licence seven times. So, by any estimation, he should not have been on the road.

"He showed what kind of a person he was when he drove off after killing Simon because he didn't want to endanger his own interests. And yet apparently he cannot be deported."

Lawrence, 55, served as a Royal Marines commando during the 1970s, including two tours of duty in Northern Ireland and a period on board the aircraft carrier Hermes alongside the Prince of Wales.
He was on his motorbike when he was struck by Mukadi's Toyota car in Harefield, west London, in June last year. He died instantly.

Mukadi fled from the scene, but was arrested several days later. He told police that he had failed to stop because he did not want to endanger a pending asylum appeal, and said he had not realised that he had hit a person.

Mukadi admitted charges of leaving the scene of an accident, driving without a licence and having no insurance at Uxbridge magistrates' court.

Mrs Roberts contacted her MP, James Arbuthnot, asking him to write to ministers seeking an explanation for why he was not considered for deportation.

Meg Hillier, a Home Office minister, replied: "It appears that Mr Mukadi does not meet the criteria to be considered for deportation.

"I recognise that this may not be the information that Ms Roberts wishes to hear. However, I am afraid that the UK Border Agency can only deport foreign national offenders in line with published policy and legal powers."

The Tories claim that about 3,000 foreign convicts are released back into society each year despite a pledge by Gordon Brown to deport all foreign lawbreakers.

A spokesman for the UK Border Agency said: "We will not tolerate those that come here and break our rules. Last year we exceeded the tough target set by government to remove 5,000 foreign lawbreakers. We are targeting the most harmful [offenders] first."

It is understood that attempts to remove Mukadi from Britain via the asylum process are being pursued.

SOURCE

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