Asylum seeker allowed to stay in UK

AN IRAQI asylum seeker who was due to be deported after Wigan Council ruled he was an adult has been granted leave to stay in the UK until April.

Rabar Hamad claimed to be a child when he came to Wigan in 2008 after a harrowing 10-day journey to England hidden in the wheel arch of a truck to escape Kirkuk in Northern Iraq.

He had fled the country after his parents were killed.

But despite his claims that he was only 16, in July last year Wigan Council ruled that he was in fact an adult and withdrew his £4,000 a week funding.

He then had to be put up in a children’s home in Oldham.

Upon his arrival in the borough, council officials immediately raised questions over his age and two social workers were asked to carry out assessments on him to determine his age.

They deemed that he was in fact 20 years old.

Mr Hamad was also due to take his GCSEs at Breeze Hill School, now Watherhead Academy, before the council’s ruling but after being told he would be deported he went on the run only to be arrested at Piccadilly train station in Manchester a few days later. Upon his capture, Mr Hamad sought a judicial review, challenging the decision to deport him back to Iraq, where he left his younger sister when he escaped.

Earlier this month the news came that he had been granted leave to remain in the country until April.

After that time, he will either have to re-apply to the Home Office to be allowed to stay in the UK or face being deported back to Iraq.

A support group page has been set up on the on the social networking site Facebook, where one of his former teachers made the announcement that he had been granted leave to stay in the UK.

She said: “We have just heard from Rabar. He has been told he has leave to remain until April in the first instance. He is very happy.”

It is not known where Mr Hamad has been held when in detention. His current whereabouts are also not being made public.