28th Nov 2022
Mr Thomas Roe KC (instructed by Government Legal Department) for the Defendant
MRS JUSTICE FOSTER DBE:
This is an application for judicial review brought by the Claimant, a Lithuanian national, who challenges certain decisions by the Secretary of State for the Home Department (“SSHD”) pertaining to his intended removal from the United Kingdom on public interest grounds.
He seeks to challenge the issue to him of a Deportation Liability Notice (“DLN”) and also the SSHD’s certification to the effect that, notwithstanding his claimed rights arising under the Immigration (European Economic Area) Regulations 2016 (“the EEA Regulations”) (such as still apply), he should nonetheless be removed from the UK pending appeal. He also argues that failures in respect of the DLN taint his subsequent detention.
A number of variations on the grounds have been propounded from time to time but the permission was expressly limited as follows:
“Permission is granted to the Claimant to apply for judicial review, limited to the following grounds:
a. the Defendant’s decision to detain the Claimant, dated 17 June 2021, was unlawful because the deportation proceedings to which it related had been incorrectly instituted, contrary to Article 30 of Directive 2004/38/EC, and, in any event, it was disproportionate, contrary to Article 27(2) of that Directive; and
b. the Defendant’s decision, dated 14 July 2021, to certify the Claimant’s removal under regulation 33 of the Immigration (Economic Area) Regulations 2016 (SI 2016/1052) was disproportionate by reference to EU standards.”
The Claimant is a national of Lithuania, it is unclear when he arrived in the United Kingdom, but likely between May and August 2019. He first came to the attention of the Home Office on his application for leave to remain under the European Settlement Scheme then in operation. He was granted Limited Leave To Remain (“LLTR”) on 3 October 2019.
Between 2019-2021 he was arrested in the UK for various potential offences relating to domestic abuse and although arrests were made charges were not preferred in respect of any of the occasions. Following arrest on 12 April 2021, a criminal record check in Lithuania was carried out and this revealed that the Claimant had a number of convictions in Lithuania which he had not disclosed when making his application for LTR. On 22 March 2012 (that is to say, when he was about 15 years of age) the Claimant was convicted of two counts of sexual assault by penetration and one count of sexual assault with no penetration of a girl of 10 years for which he was sentenced to 2 years 7 months imprisonment all of which was suspended. On 15 June 2015 the Claimant was convicted of robbery at Vilnius City District Court in Lithuania and sentenced to 5 years’ imprisonment.
Between early May 2021 and 17 June 2021 consideration was given to the deportation of the Claimant and to his detention pending deportation. It was concluded that the Claimant posed a high risk of absconding, of harm and of reoffending. The Secretary of State’s view in early May was that detention was appropriate to facilitate removal. The grounds included the threat that Mr Selevicius posed to the UK public and more immediately to his partner and children based on her view they were serious offences overseas, and the arrests for domestic violence suggested a pattern of sexual violence and violence towards women. There was no indication he sought to address the behaviour or sought help. Furthermore, he had obtained LTR on the basis of a failure to disclose his convictions. It was deemed appropriate to serve a DLN at the time of detention.
Material available to the Defendant from Lincolnshire Children’s Services following the police referral in respect of domestic abuse revealed the children were subject to a Child in Need Plan because of the abuse. A referral dated 9 April 2021 reported that the Claimant had pushed his partner downstairs and beaten her. The children and members of the public had reported their concerns to the police even though the Claimant’s partner was unwilling to engage. It was reported to the SSHD the domestic abuse was escalating, and had been under-reported.
The DLN, completed on 2 June 2021, was served on 17 June 2021. A Deportation Order was served on 14 July 2021.
On 7 April 2022 the Claimant made an application long out of time to appeal against the decision to deport him made on 14 July 2021.
Put shortly, Mr Bedford on behalf of the Claimant says the Court should treat all of the Claimant’s detention, between the dates of 17 June 2021 and 2 September 2021 (following a favourable bail decision on 1 September 2021) as unlawful and quash any Deportation Order removal directions because of fatal defects in the DLN which failed to contain material information.