by lizzie pARRY
Tuesday, November 13, 2012
Tough new rules to protect the public from foreign criminals have been brought in by government – but not in time to deport an Ipswich-based criminal who raised fears she would be shunned for her actions in her homeland.
Outraged at the case of Ai Vee Ong, of Hawthorn Drive, Ipswich MP Ben Gummer raised the issue with the Home Secretary.
Branding Ong’s use of the Human Rights Act as “ridiculous” Mr Gummer told The Star that, while the change in the law was too late in this example, it will act to prevent other similar cases.
Ong was jailed for four years for exploiting illegal immigrants and other offences. The 34-year-old was employed as a company secretary for Temptations Buffet Ltd in Ipswich before her arrest in August 2008.
An earlier appeal for Ong to remain in the country was thrown out on the grounds the judge regarded the public interest in Ong’s deportation as substantial, although her risk of re-offending was low.
Ong appealed and Judge DE Taylor of the Upper Tribunal overturned the decision, allowing Ong to stay in Britain.
It was said Ong’s removal would interfere with her right to a private and family life in the UK, and deportation would not be proportionate.
The court heard Ong had not told her family in Malaysia about her conviction, because she would be disowned due to the shame and disgrace.
A Home Office spokesperson said: “We are extremely disappointed with the judge’s decision to allow this foreign criminal to remain in the UK.
“This case demonstrates why we have introduced tough new rules to protect the public from foreign criminals who try to hide behind family life as a reason to stay here.”
Mr Gummer told The Star: “Now we have got some clarification.
“I am glad that this will not re-occur.
“It just shows how ludicrous the rules were before this change.
“I am glad we are getting to grips with this ridiculous human rights culture on which Ms Ong has relied.”
What do you think about this case? Write to Your Letters, Ipswich Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or alternatively you can send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org