Judge Said Foreign Criminal Could Stay as Gang Membership Proves Integration into British Society

LONDON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 16: A statue of the scales of justice stands above the Old Bailey on February 16, 2015 in London, England. (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)
Dan Kitwood/Getty

A tribunal judge said that a Turkish criminal should be allowed to stay in the UK because membership of a north London crime gang proved he had integrated into British society.

Tolga Binbuga, 29, was convicted an array of offences, including robbery, assault, and burglary, and belonged to the Enfield Get Money Gang which was ranked by police second out of the 200 most dangerous street gangs.

Judge Evan Ruth ruled at Binbuga’s First Tier Tribunal, according to The Telegraph, “In my view, although it is a sad and unpleasant conclusion, the likely association of the appellant with this North London gang is a good example of his integration into one of the less savoury aspects of UK life.”

The newspaper reported that the Home Office had tried to deport the Turk since 2014, but attempts have been hampered by a number of appeals, including in 2016 when one judge determined that he should remain in the UK because he was a “home-grown criminal” as he came to the country with his parents when he was nine.

However, Upper Tribunal Judge Alistair McGeachy later ruled that Judge Ruth had “erred in law” when he accepted the criminal’s reasoning that gang membership counts as evidence of integration, saying, “I simply cannot accept that being a member of a gang in North London can possibly be considered to be an example of social and cultural integration.

“There must be imported into the term ‘social and cultural integration’ the norms of British society. Indeed, I consider that being a member of a gang is the antithesis of being socially and culturally integrated in the UK.”

The criminal’s final appeal against deportation was overruled at the Court of Appeal last week and racked up a reported £50,000 bill in litigation, but the Home Office has not confirmed when he will be sent back to Turkey.

Conservative MP Andrew Bridgen told The Sun, “It is ridiculous to suggest being in a gang shows a person has integrated into British society.

“We have enough criminals and do not need one more.”

On Monday, the Hansard Society’s Audit of Political Engagement 16 found that second to members of the military (74 per cent), Britons hold a high amount of confidence (62 per cent) that judges and courts will “act in the best interests of the public.”


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