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Last Updated: Tuesday, 21 August 2007, 16:25 GMT 17:25 UK
Chindamo case: Deportation law
Balancing scales
The length of Chindamo's residence in the UK is significant to the case
The decision to allow the man who killed head teacher Philip Lawrence to stay in the UK has prompted closer scrutiny of the laws which apply to the case.

Learco Chindamo, 26, has won an appeal against deportation to Italy, which the Home Office says it will challenge.

During the case, the Asylum and Immigration Tribunal referred to the 2004 Free Movement Directive which was integrated into UK law in 2006.

It states that: "A relevant decision (to deport) may not be taken except on imperative grounds of public security in respect of an EEA (European Economic Area) national who has resided in the United Kingdom for a continuous period of at least 10 years prior to the relevant decision."

This legislation is relevant as Chindamo, who moved to Britain at the age of six and has lived in the UK for 20 years.

Custodial sentences

The Home Office, has said it will ask the Asylum and Immigration Tribunal to reconsider their decision.

The UK's hospitality goes so far but if you commit a serious crime you are no longer welcome in this country
Home Office
A Home Office spokeswoman said: "All European nationals who have received a custodial sentence of two years or more are considered for deportation."

This law, which is part of the Immigration (European Economic Area) Regulations 2006, came into force in April 2006.

The legal process involves making an application for deportment to the Board of Immigration and it is up to a judge to make a decision.

The spokeswoman said Mr Chindamo's case had been treated "exactly the same" as other cases involving criminals born within the EEA who had received a jail sentence of 24 months or more.

"If you live and work in this country, the UK's hospitality goes so far but if you commit a serious crime you are no longer welcome in this country," she added.

Criminals born outside the EEA can also be considered for deportation if they have received a sentence of 12 months or more.

However, they would not be sent back to a country if it was deemed to be unsafe.

The Home Office said a deportation "would depend on the specific circumstances at the time".

Lawrence killer to remain in UK
20 Aug 07 |  London

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