An illegal immigrant who killed a brilliant young writer by driving into her at 60mph cannot be deported because it would breach his human rights.
Ahsan Sabri, 28, was unlicensed and not properly insured when he roared through a red light and ploughed into Oxford University graduate Sophie Warne.
The 30-year-old died instantly from a broken neck. She had published five books, was writing her first novel and was about to announce her engagement.
But the High Court overturned an immigration tribunal decision that Sabri–who had overstayed his visa–should be sent home to Pakistan.
The judge ruled that deporting him would breach his right to ‘respect for family life’ as he had married a British woman in 2003 and had a daughter, born last May, with her.
Lord Justice Sir Martin Moore-Bick said that if he left Britain, Sabri’s wife, Laura Gleeson, 25, a graphic designer, from Essex, and their baby would probably follow and that would ‘interfere with their private and family life’.
He accepted Sabri’s claim that his wife may have trouble finding a job in Pakistan and could suffer ‘ broadly based threats and difficulties’ as a result of being a Christian.
This section of human rights law also prevents Britain from deporting Learco Chindamo, the Italian-born killer of London headmaster Philip Lawrence.
Chindamo has lived in Britain since he was five and claims to have his strongest family ties here, but Sabri moved here when he was 18.
As such, the High Court’s decision threatens to set a precedent in which anyone facing deportation simply needs to marry a British person to stay.
Damian Green, Tory spokesman for immigration, said: ‘This is yet another reminder that Gordon Brown’s claim to have brought in automatic deportation for criminals was just spin.’
Sabri came to Britain on a student visa in 1998. As he held a Pakistani driving licence, he had 12 months’ grace before needing to take a new test.
But after a year, Sabri simply obtained a provisional licence. In October 2003, he was fined £150 for driving without learner plates. Eight months later, he killed Miss Warne.
She was a gifted student who started studying history at Pembroke College, Oxford, when she was just 16.
She went on to write travel books, including the highly-rated Bradt guide to the west African country of Gabon.
In her spare time, she was a Red Cross volunteer, helping refugees.
In June 2004, Miss Warne was hit by Sabri on a pelican crossing in central London as she made her way home to Brixton, South London, from a party.
In July 2005, he was found guilty of causing death by dangerous driving and jailed for three years.
Last year, an Immigration Tribunal ruled that he should be deported but Sabri, funded by legal aid, appealed.
Miss Warne’s parents Peter and Louise Warne, both retired company directors, were unaware of his battle to stay in Britain until told by the Daily Mail. They declined to comment.
The Home Office is understood to be deciding whether to continue the fight to deport Sabri, who lives in Grays, Essex, or to admit defeat.