'None of this should have happened': Judge lashes Home Office for failing to deport illegal immigrant, 53, who swindled £32,000 in benefits after using a fake letter to stay in the UK for 16 years

Mail Online | 5/29/2012 | Amie Gordon For Mailonline
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A judge has criticised the Home Office for failing to deport an illegal immigrant who entered the UK on the back of a lorry and illegally claimed £32,000 in benefits.

Kerim Koroglu pocketed handouts he was not entitled to collect for more than six years after he sneaked into the country in a lorry on 30 August 2002.

'leave - Letter - £32 - Housing - Council

The 49-year-old used a fake 'leave to remain' letter to swindle £32,549 in housing and council tax benefits from Hackney Council.

The false document, described by prosecutor Will Martin as 'very convenient', purported to grant Koroglu asylum in 2004, enabling him to claim the welfare and bring his wife and two children over from Turkey.

Alawi - Kurd - Idea - Letter

The Alawi Kurd, representing himself, said he had no idea where the letter came from.

But he was convicted of benefit fraud by an Old Bailey jury and jailed for 30 months.

Koroglu - Deportation - UK - Years

Koroglu now faces deportation after living illegally in the UK for more than 15 years.

Before sentencing the fraudster, judge Mr Recorder Oliver Sells QC, grilled immigration officer Heather Laing on how he was able to use an unsigned letter to dupe the authorities.

Judge - 'It - Trial - Defendant - Words

The judge said: 'It became clear during the trial that this defendant had, to use your words, exhausted his appeals by the end of 2002 and as you say in your statement he should have left voluntarily at that stage but where people do not do so – putting it bluntly – he should have been deported.'

Ms Laing said: 'Mr Keroglu came into the system when it was very reliant on paper and human investigation, his file became lost in the system and I think that is set out in the witness statement.

File - Time - Light

'What became of the file at the time I am not aware of but it did come back into light.'

The judge said: 'None of what happened thereafter...
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