Deportation threat mum is freed

AN IPSWICH mother who faced being deported to Samoa because she was caught shoplifting is a free woman today after winning her fight against the Home Office.

AN IPSWICH mother who faced being deported to Samoa because she was caught shoplifting is a free woman today after winning her fight against the Home Office.

Zyanya Brooks is back in Ipswich with her friends and family after being released from an immigration detention centre in Bedfordshire.

The Home Office dropped its case against Miss Brooks after admitting she is a British citizen by descent and is not liable to deportation.

That admission has infuriated her family who say she should never have been held and threatened with deportation in the first place.


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Her father, Richard Brooks, of Vernon Street, said: “I want them to apologise. I think they are red-faced over this.

“They've had the documents and all the paperwork about her status 16 years ago.

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“They've put me and the whole family through this - why did they need to do that?”

Miss Brooks, a self-confessed petty criminal with a string of previous convictions, was taken into custody by the Home Office after serving half of a 28-day prison sentence for shoplifting in Peterborough prison.

She had attempted to steal £160 worth of clothing from the Monsoon and Gap stores in Ipswich town centre on May 12.

On the day she was to be released she was informed the government had launched deportation proceedings against her.

She had vowed to appeal under the provisions of the Human Rights Act on the basis that she has a five-year-old daughter, Tamiya, in England and her Gainsborough-born father and her brother also live here.

She argued that she no longer had any connection to her birthplace, Samoa, because she has lived in Ipswich since she was seven.

Today Mr Brooks said the saga has affected his daughter so badly she had become a “recluse” on her return to Ipswich.

He said: “They've put her through so much. She did the crime and served the time and that should have been the end of it.”

The Home Office today said it could not comment on Miss Brooks' case but a spokesman for the department said: “We would not seek to deport anyone with British citizenship.

“However there are circumstances where an individual subject to removal or deportation proceedings claiming to be a British citizen or to have an entitlement to British citizenship may be required to provide supporting evidence of this in order to prevent removal from the UK.”

Weblink: www.homeoffice.gov.uk

n. See letters page six.

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