Married father-of-three Mircea Gheorghiu is allowed to return to the UK after being sent back to his home country last year
A Romanian rapist has been allowed back into Britain because it would break EU law and breach his human rights to deport him back to his home country, it emerged on Sunday.
Married father-of-three Mircea Gheorghiu was ordered out of the country after the Home Office discovered his criminal past following a drink-drive conviction here.
But the 47-year-old roofer has now been allowed to return to the UK to live in Walthamstow, East London, with his family because two judges ruled his crimes are not serious enough to justify his deportation, the Mail on Sunday reported.
The immigration tribunal heard EU citizens should only be removed before their appeal hearings in exceptional circumstances, because of their rights to free movement and human right to a family life.
Gheorghiu served two years and eight months of a six-year jail sentence in his native Romania for a rape in 1990 before moving to Britain illegally in August 2002.
He has also been jailed twice in Romania for “forestry offences” such as “cutting timber without a licence”.
In November 2007, he was convicted of drink-driving in the UK and banned for 20 months.
But it was only in June 2014 that the Home Office discovered his rape conviction.
In January 2015, the decision was made to deport him “essentially because of the serious nature of his overseas convictions, notably the conviction for rape”.
Gheorghiu was placed in an immigration detention centre for 46 days before being sent back to Romania.
He said: “The first I knew that anything was wrong was when the immigration officer knocked on my door at 7am. The officers said they had a few questions and asked me to come to the police station.
“They said they would bring me back but they lied and I was taken to a detention centre.”
While he was in Romania, his appeal took place and a judge ruled he no longer posed enough of a risk to be deported as he had been a “law-abiding and working member of UK society” for seven years.
An appeal by the Home Office was then rejected when the Upper Tribunal (Immigration and Asylum Chamber) upheld the ruling that Gheorghiu’s deportation was disproportionate.
Mr Justice Blake and Judge Nathan Goldstein said: “We consider it is of importance, he is reunited with his family as quickly as possible.”
The Home Office said: “The UK will seek to deport any EU national whose conduct represents a genuine, present and sufficiently serious threat.”