Page last updated at 04:40 GMT, Sunday, 24 January 2010

Iraqi who killed two doctors wins right to stay in UK

Rampton Hospital
Alani was held at a maximum security unit at Rampton Hospital

An Iraqi immigrant who stabbed to death two NHS doctors has won the right to stay in Britain, it has been confirmed.

An immigration judge ruled Laith Alani, a 41-year-old paranoid schizophrenic, could pose a danger to people in his homeland, the Sunday Telegraph reports.

It says the tribunal found deportation would also breach his human rights. The government said it must accept the immigration court's judgement.

Alani has spent 19 years in a secure hospital for the 1990 killings.

Cosmetic surgeons Kenneth Paton and Michael Masser were attacked at Pinderfields Hospital in Wakefield, West Yorkshire, after Alani claimed to have received "a command from Allah".

Alani, who was 24 at the time, was sentenced to an indefinite term of imprisonment in a maximum-security unit at Rampton Hospital, near Nottingham, in 1991.

He appealed to the Asylum and Immigration Tribunal (AIT) where a panel led by senior immigration judge Lance Waumsley ruled he could remain in the UK, the Telegraph reports.

If discharged, restricted patients are subject to intensive supervision by doctors and mental health professionals
Ministry of Justice

It is understood one of the reasons given was that if Alani was sent back to Iraq, he would be unlikely to receive the drugs needed to keep his mental illness under control.

Immigration minister Phil Woolas said: "The UK Border Agency vigorously opposes any appeal against deportation, but when the courts insist an individual cannot be removed, we have to accept their judgement."

The Ministry of Justice would not comment on the individual case but said restricted patients were carefully managed for public protection and underwent rigorous risk assessment.

"They can be discharged from secure hospitals by the Mental Health Tribunal which is entirely independent of government," a ministry spokesman said.

"If discharged, restricted patients are subject to intensive supervision by doctors and mental health professionals.

"The Secretary of State has the power to recall a conditionally discharged patient to hospital immediately if he receives information that the patient's risk to others is increasing as a result of his mental disorder."

The Home Office said a record 5,400 foreign criminals were deported in 2008.

All foreign national prisoners were now considered for deportation before release, and over the past three years about a quarter have gone before the end of their sentence, it added.

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