'Home-grown' burglar can't be deported, Court of Appeal rules

Royal Courts of Justice
Image caption Three appeal judges ruled Benedetto Vassallo should not be deported to Italy

An Italian-born burglar who has lived in the UK for 63 years cannot be deported despite his "reprehensible" record, a court has ruled.

Benedetto Vassallo, 68, from Folkestone in Kent, arrived in the UK with his parents as a young child in 1952.

The home secretary attempted to have Vassallo - who retained his Italian citizenship - deported.

However, the Court of Appeal ruled he was of "low risk" of reoffending and called him a "home-grown criminal".

Vassallo was convicted of 68 offences, mainly burglary, while living in the UK.

'Public security'

During this time he married a British woman and had two children who were also British citizens.

In May 2012 he was sentenced to 29 months in prison for a burglary committed at the home of an elderly couple.

After this the home secretary decided to make a deportation order against Vassallo on the grounds that it was necessary "in the interests of public policy or public security".

An immigration tribunal ruled that deporting Vassallo was not justified under European immigration regulations.

The Home Office appealed, however, three judges - Lord Justice Richards, Lady Justice Macur and Mr Justice Cranston - agreed he should not be deported.

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