Here’s the latest from British jurisprudence: a convicted murderer can’t be deported if it would cause him to be separated from his family.
No, it’s not a comedy sketch. This is the ongoing reality-TV sitcom that is the modern British judicial system, as reported by the Grauniad:
The widow of the London headteacher Philip Lawrence said she was “devastated and demoralised” by the decision not to deport her husband’s killer. Learco Chindamo is to stay in Britain after immigration judges allowed his appeal against deportation, it emerged yesterday.
Chindamo, 26, who came to Britain from Italy with his family at the age of five, is serving a life sentence for stabbing Lawrence to death outside his school in Maida Vale in north London, in 1995. His 12-year minimum prison term is due to end next year.
Lawrence, 48, was killed as he tried to defend a 13-year-old pupil who was being attacked by Chindamo and several other boys outside St George’s Roman Catholic comprehensive.
OK, a “life” sentence in Britain really means twelve years. We already knew that.
But this kid will finish his dozen next year, when he’s twenty-seven years old, meaning that he was fifteen when he whacked his principal.
And who’s in this family that must be kept together at all costs?
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His mother is a Filipina and his father an Italian mafia gangster who served time in prison for throwing acid into a woman’s face, but both are now in Britain. Judges at the immigration and appeals tribunal ruled that sending him back to Italy would breach Chindamo’s right to a family life. The home secretary can order the deportation of prisoners to another EU country only if they pose “a fundamental threat to the interests of society”.
Well, it’s clear that no one poses a fundamental threat to British society, except of course for racist children who object to all-Urdu classrooms. Oh, and those especially vicious criminals who insult the gender identity of a policeman’s horse.
But I digress…
Chindamo, who it is believed was told of the ruling at the weekend, was said to be “pleased” because his “family and life were in the UK”. In a statement he said he hoped the decision would not “cause grief” to Lawrence’s widow or to the rest of his family and expressed his deepest sympathy.
Frances Lawrence, the headteacher’s widow, said in a statement: “I am devastated, demoralised. I’m unutterably depressed that the Human Rights Act has failed to encompass the rights of my family to lead a safe, secure and happy life.
“I feel that I have always been a staunch advocate of the Human Rights Act but there is a missing term in it. It must encompass some responsibility.
“This isn’t just about me and my family. I am not solely thinking of me. I may be a mother but I am a human being as well. I feel I can’t fight any more. I feel I can’t survive this.”
Well, I think she’ll just have to suck it up. Stiff upper lip, old gel!
The Home Office said last night it was disappointed that the courts had not upheld the decision to deport Chindamo. Home Office minister Tony McNulty said the government would appeal “robustly” against the decision, arguing that Chindamo had forfeited his rights because of the crime he committed.
“We think, given the nature of this crime, actually the individual has forfeited his right to remain in the UK and should be deported as we asked for in the first place. I think the core principle must be absolute: that foreign nationals living in this country have rights but there are incumbent responsibilities that come along with them.”
Name one. Go on, I dare you!
Downing Street tried to calm the growing political furore over knife crime, saying crime overall had fallen and that the punishments for carrying a knife were now much tougher.
Are you reassured?
If twelve years is what you get for cold-blooded murder, what’s a “tough” penalty for carrying a knife likely to be?
The Home Office strongly criticised crime figures quoted at the weekend showing that robberies at knifepoint had doubled in three years. A spokesman said the analysis by the Centre for Crime and Justice Studies was misleading and the conclusion flawed. “The figures are based on a crude extrapolation of British Crime Survey figures. The BCS does not show a statistically significant increase in the use of knives in violent incidents,” the spokesman said.
My own personal suspicion is that these British crime statistics and official Swedish unemployment figures all come from the same source: a little private Westminster accounting firm called Bendit, Specius and Bogus.
Their motto? “Books Cooked While You Wait!”
Hat tip: Ron.