Page last updated at 11:23 GMT, Thursday, 8 January 2009

Deported thief loses legal fight

European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg
The court ruled Joseph Grant's deportation was necessary

A Jamaican convicted criminal who fathered four children by four different women in the UK has lost his legal battle against deportation.

Joseph Grant, who spent 34 years in Britain, argued the decision breached his right to a private family life.

The 48-year-old was deported after a string of convictions for drug offences, violence, theft and robbery.

On Thursday, the European Court of Human Rights ruled his deportation had been "proportionate and necessary".

It ruled the deportation was "necessary in a democratic society" given his long pattern of offending.

The court said although Grant had strong ties with the UK "it cannot overlook the fact that the applicant has never cohabited with any of his children".

The former Home Secretary, John Reid, ordered Grant to be returned to Jamaica in May 2006 following revelations more than 1,000 foreign prisoners had been released without being considered for deportation.

Grant was eventually sent back to Jamaica last year and his lawyer says he is destitute.

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