UK visa case sees Home Secretary in contempt of court

25 Jun 2012 | Posted by Carl Thomas

Theresa May has been accused of ‘totally unacceptable and regrettable’ behaviour by Judge Barry Cotter QC, becoming the second Home Secretary in British history to be found guilty of contempt of court, following the outcome of a UK immigration case.

The entire UK visa and immigration system could now descend into confusion after Ms May was said to have shown a complete disregard to a legal agreement to free an Algerian criminal from a UK Immigration detention centre.

A spokesperson for the Judicial Review office said: “HHJ Cotter QC found the defendant guilty of contempt for failing to release Aziz Lamari having agreed to do so. There was no penalty imposed for the contempt – the finding in itself is serious.”

A spokesperson for Duncan Lewis, the solicitors who brought the case against Ms May, stated that: “It’s our belief that Mrs May’s crackdown on UK Immigration rules had led UK Border Agency (UKBA) officials to completely ignore the request to release Lamari.”

A spokesperson for the UKBA said: “Aziz Lamari is a failed asylum seeker who had served custodial sentences for serious offences. He was held in a UK Immigration detention centre awaiting deportation and removal to Algeria and we accept that he was not released on the date set by the court, which resulted in yesterday’s judgement.”

Mr Lamari, 22, came to Britain in 2009 without a UK visa before applying for asylum. He subsequently absconded several times over a period of three months before then being jailed for exposure and robbery.

His original 12 month sentence was served by December 2010, yet he was remanded in a UK Immigration detention centre, whilst attempts were made to have him deported back to his homeland of Algeria.