Ipswich: Drug dealer will not be deported because his partner suffers from depression and anxiety

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Johnny Callie, who was found guilty of conspiracy to supply Class A drugs.
ES 8/10/0

STAR NEWS Johnny Callie, who was found guilty of conspiracy to supply Class A drugs. ES 8/10/07 ES 29/11/07 ES 18/1/08

The Home Office has said it is “disappointed” that a convicted drug dealer has won the right to stay in the UK.

American Johnny Callie, who was jailed in 2007 for seven years for conspiracy to supply crack cocaine and heroin, will not be deported because his partner suffers from depression and anxiety.

At a tribunal heard in May this year, Home Secretary Theresa May appealed a previous decision not to send Callie back to his home country.

The 64-year-old had previously won his own appeal fighting deportation, claiming it breached Article 8 of the European Convention for Human Rights, the right to family life.

But Upper Tribunal Judge Bernard Dawson ruled the decision had been correct and Callie could stay in the UK.

Documents on the hearing explained how Callie, a Vietnam War veteran, “did not demonstrate any attitudes that would lead to further offending”.

His physical health was mentioned as well: “The claimant is suffering from diabetes and degenerative changes to his right knee and is also suffering from high blood pressure.”

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Also highlighted in the document was the condition of his partner, referred to only as SN, whom Callie has lived with since 1995.

It read: “She is a British citizen who has no contact with other members of her family and has very few friends.

“Due to her depression and anxiety she is unusually dependent upon the claimant and cannot easily leave her home on her own or travel outside Ipswich at all unless he is with her.” It added she has previously attempted suicide.

The tribunal, held in London, heard Callie had been a “major part” of a gang supplying drugs in Ipswich before his arrest in 2005.

After the appeal was dismissed a spokesman for the Home Office said: “We firmly believe foreign nationals who break the law should be deported.

“We are disappointed by the tribunal’s decision in this case and we have appealed against it.

“Through the recently passed Immigration Act, we are making it easier to remove people from the UK and harder for individuals to prolong their stay with spurious appeals, by cutting the number of appeal rights from 17 to four.

“It also ensures judges deal with Article 8 claims in the right way — making clear the right to a family life is not regarded as absolute and unqualified.”