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Page last updated at 09:22 GMT, Friday, 23 January 2009

Vetting asylum seekers

Allister Craddock
Politics Show East Midlands

Zareen Ahmed believes her daughter would be alive today if crime and health agencies had properly monitored her killer.

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Zareen Ahmed

Halimah Ahmed was murdered by Khalid Peshawan at his house in Derby.

He was from the Kurdish region of Iraq and had failed in his attempt to be granted asylum.

He was later granted indefinite leave to stay in Britain.

The inquest heard that he had a history of mental health problems.

Systemic failure

The coroner said Derbyshire Mental Health Trust had failed to take effective measures to detain him. If they had, he says, "the tragic events could have been avoided".

Four years earlier, he had been convicted of an assault in which he stabbed someone outside a Derby nightclub.

Suitcase
Khalid Peshawan not considered for deportation

However, the inquest was told that he had not been considered for deportation because he was not given a custodial sentence.

Monitoring required

Zareen tells the East Midlands Politics Show that she believes there are other people like Peshawan who are "walking time bombs".

She believes many of them are bound to be suffering from the effects of persecution or intimidation in the countries from which they have fled.

And this can be compounded by the problems they face when they get here.

She insists that they should be much more closely monitored from the time they are admitted to this country.

She says asylum seekers are not properly vetted for past crimes or health problems when they enter Britain.

Closer cooperation

Moreover, she says there needs to be much closer co-operation between agencies like the police, probation and mental health practitioners.

Zareen says she has been in close contact with several government departments and is hopeful that she will soon be given funding to extend her research.

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