A paedophile who raped a seven-year-old child has been stripped of his British citizenship in what is believed to be the first case of its kind.
According to The Telegraph, the man came over to the UK from India in 1997 and was granted citizenship in 2004. In 2011 though he was convicted of sexually abusing a male child in his family.
He was sentenced to 14 years in prison and placed on the sexual offenders register for life. The Home Secretary, however, has made the supposedly unprecedented choice to also revoke his citizenship.
The decision has been made on the grounds that he lied on his application about sexually abusing a child and was ‘clearly not of good character’.
The man appealed the decision but Judge Pitt upheld the Home Secretary’s verdict and stripped the man of his British passport saying in his judgement the man ‘obtained naturalisation in 2004 by deliberately concealing material facts’.
Richard Scorer, a specialist abuse lawyer at law firm Slater & Gordon, said he welcomed the ruling.
This decision is to be welcomed as a statement of the seriousness with which grooming is viewed by the courts. Any court decision which highlights and reinforces the penalties for this kind of will help to send out the message that perpetrators will face serious consequences.
This is the first time that the Home Secretary has removed the citizenship from a paedophile who lied about the grooming of a child while undergoing the naturalisation process.
According to the Home Office website, the British government can deprive people of citizenship, under section 40 of the British Nationality Act 1981 on grounds of fraud, false representation or concealment of material fact or on grounds of conduciveness to the public good.
Last year 104 people were deprived of their citizenship because it was conducive to the public good however the Home Office has not revealed whether any of those cases related to child abuse.
A Home Office spokesperson told the Telegraph:
Any British Citizen may be deprived of his or her citizenship if the Secretary of State is satisfied that it would be conducive to the public good. It is a power used for extreme and exceptional cases.
Deprivation on conducive grounds can be used where individuals pose a threat to national security, or have been involved in war crimes, serious and organised crime, and unacceptable behaviours such as extremism or glorification of terrorism, unless to deprive would render them stateless.
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