22 October 2019
The Criminal Cases Review Commission has referred conviction of Mr L to the Crown Court
Mr L, an Iranian national, was convicted at Uxbridge magistrates Court in the summer of 2011 for failing to produce a satisfactory immigration document (contrary to section 2(1) Asylum and Immigration (Treatment of Claimants, etc.) Act 2004).
Mr L arrived had at Heathrow Airport on a flight from Milan on June 19 and was unable to produce a valid passport or other identity document
In interview he told immigration officials that he had not had an Iranian passport since his was seized by the authorities there in 1998 after he took part in a demonstration.
Mr L had previously left Iran without a passport and claimed asylum in the UK, but had returned to Iran after withdrawing his asylum claim.
He was subsequently imprisoned in Iran for almost a year after being involved in demonstrations following the 2009 elections. He escaped and went into hiding.
He fled Iran again traveling on foot and by lorry to Turkey where an agent provided him with a false passport and helped him travel to the UK via two unknown short stops. Mr L believed he was en route to Canada, but the agent took back the false passport and abandoned him at Heathrow Airport.
Mr L appeared at Uxbridge Magistrates’ Court where, on the advice of a solicitor, he pleaded guilty to failing to produce a satisfactory immigration document . He was convicted and sentenced to three months’ imprisonment.
In 2011, Mr L was granted asylum with five years’ leave to remain in the UK and was subsequently granted indefinite leave to remain.
He applied to the CCRC for a review of his conviction in August 2018.
Having reviewed the case in detail, the Commission has decided to refer Mr L’s conviction for appeal because it considers that there is a real possibility that the Crown Court will vacate his guilty plea and order a stay of proceedings. Or, if Mr L is prosecuted again, that he will be acquitted on the basis of the statutory defence under section 2(4)(c) of Asylum and Immigration (Treatment of Claimants) Act 2004, that ought to have been available to him when he was first prosecuted.
Mr L was assisted in his application to the CCRC by Get UK Visa.
This press release was issued by Justin Hawkins, Head of Communication, Criminal Cases Review Commission, on 07947 355231 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org