An Iranian citizen who arrived in the UK when he was 9 can be deported after losing his Supreme Court appeal to remain in the country.
The court on Friday unanimously upheld Britain's Home Office decision to deport Ashkan Sanambar to Iran who was convicted of a string of violent robberies when he was younger.
In 2013, Sanambar was convicted of multiple robberies after a week-long spree targeting “young posh people” at knifepoint in Barnes, an affluent riverside district in south-west London.
Two years earlier, he was found guilty of attempting to rob passengers at a train station and he has another conviction for carrying a knuckle duster.
The court in London heard Sanambar had a difficult upbringing because of his father’s violent conduct.
But the Iranian was told in November 2013, after his most recent conviction, he would be deported for the “public good”, despite Sanambar arriving in Britain aged 9 and having no family in Iran any longer.
Sanambar, 25, told the court he had not been to Iran since he was a child and was used to the “relative freedom” of the UK. He cannot read or write Farsi but is a fluent speaker of the language.
The tribunal acknowledged Sanambar had no family links in Iran and might have difficulty finding employment there, but said he was “academically capable, able to articulate himself appropriately and ambitious”.
Sanambar “was not utterly isolated from Iranian culture, particularly because of his mother’s ties to the country”, the tribunal said. According to the judgment, his mother has one friend in the country.
The Supreme Court ruled “the obstacles to the appellant’s integration in Iran were not very significant”.
“Given the seriousness of the offending and the continuing risk of serious harm resulting from criminal offending, it did not consider that the deportation of the appellant was disproportionate or that there were very compelling reasons to prevent it,” the judgment said.
“There was substantial material to support its view that the interference with the private and family life of the appellant was outweighed by the public interest in the prevention of crime.”
The court said Sanambar may decide to lodge a new appeal if there is a “material change of circumstances”.