Thu, 09 Aug 2018
Vinesh Mandalia, led by Cathryn McGahey QC, represented the Home Office in contesting the citizenship appeal of three members of the Rochdale grooming gang.
Abdul Aziz, Adil Khan and Qari Abdul Rauf were jailed in May 2012 for their part in the sex ring and were informed by the Home Office in 2015 they would be stripped of their British citizenship and risked deportation to Pakistan.
The three challenged the decision at the First-tier Tribunal, citing their right to a family life under the European Convention on Human rights.
The FTT ruled against the appellants and concluded the loss of citizenship would not prevent them maintain relationships with their families.
Their appeal was also rejected by the Upper Tribunal which said due to the serious nature of their crimes the removal of their citizenship was “conducive to the public good”.
The men pursued their case to the Court of Appeal, where they represented themselves, and the appeals were again dismissed.
Lord Justice Philip Sales found “in view of the serious nature of the offending, the appellants’ rights would not be breached by the deprivation of citizenship or by any future deportation.”
All three men, from Rochdale, were found guilty of conspiracy to engage in sexual activity with children under the age of 16 and trafficking for sexual exploitation following a trial at Liverpool Crown Court.
Under the British Nationality Act 1981, the Home Secretary has the power to strip an individual of their British citizenship – as long as it would not leave them stateless – if it is seen as “conducive to the public good” or they obtained their British citizenship fraudulently.
Vinesh Mandalia practices within the Immigration Group at No5 Barristers’ Chambers.