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Bid to deport death driver rejected

A Government bid to deport a failed asylum seeker who killed a 12-year-old girl in a hit-and-run has been rejected by the Court of Appeal.

Aso Mohammed Ibrahim, 33, an Iraqi Kurd who was already banned from driving, left Amy Houston dying under the wheels of his car in Blackburn, Lancashire, in 2003.

He was jailed for four months over her death, but was allowed to remain in the UK on his release.

Amy's father Paul Houston, a 41-year-old engineer from Darwen, Lancashire, who has been campaigning for years to get Ibrahim deported, was present at the London court for the ruling given by Lord Justice Sullivan and Lord Justice Gross.

They rejected an application by the Home Office for permission to appeal against a decision in Ibrahim's favour - made initially by an immigration judge and upheld on appeal last year.

Ibrahim, who had faced being removed from the UK as an illegal immigrant, was allowed to stay after an immigration judge ruled in 2009 that he had established a "family life" in this country.

When refusing permission to appeal, the judges expressed their "greatest sympathy" for Amy's family, but stressed their only task was to decide whether there had been any error of law - they ruled that there had not been any error.

After Lord Justice Sullivan gave his reasons for dismissing the application, Mr Houston asked from the public gallery: "My Lord, what about my right to a family life?"

Outside the court, Mr Houston, said: "The judges had the opportunity to stand up for the hard-working people of this country, the people who pay their wages, and show the world and the country that the Human Rights Act isn't just about asylum seekers, criminals and terrorists but the average man - but they let me down and didn't do that."

Immigration minister Damian Green described the ruling as "extremely disappointing", and added: "I will be raising the wider issues highlighted by this tragic case with the Justice Secretary for consideration by the commission on UK human rights law which the Government will be establishing later this year."

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