Published: 16:36, 18 September 2006
A COURT case involving a Russian asylum seeker still in this country despite two orders that he be deported descended into farce again today.
Judge Timothy Nash had already criticised civil servants "who just don't do their job" when heroin addict and convicted thief Mohammed Gaparkhoev came before him in May.
Today, when yet another court hearing had to be adjourned because the Home Office had failed to inform Gaparkhoev of his asylum appeal hearing, Judge Nash branded the situation "astonishing".
"If it's not astonishing it's laughable," he told Gaparkhoev, "and your future is undecided because of our total incompetence."
Gaparkhoev, 30, of Guildhall Street, Folkestone, was remanded in custody at his last court appearance when he appeared before Judge Nash for breaching a two-year Anti Social Behaviour Order imposed by magistrates in Folkestone in June 2004.
The court was told he was banned from several specified stores and various streets in the town. But the order was first breached in September that year and Gaparkhoev was jailed for a year. The ASBO was ordered to continue.
In November 2005 Gaparkhoev was again spotted in one of the specified shops. On that occasion the court made a recommendation for deportation but no action was taken. Gaparkhoev breached the ASBO again and this time he was jailed for four months.
A second deportation recommendation was made and, having served his sentence, Gaparkhoev is now in custody under immigration regulations.
Judge Nash adjourned sentence for the breach in May, pending the outcome of Gaparkhoev's asylum appeal hearing. However, the court heard today that despite being in custody Gaparkhoev was not told of the date.
"This is yet another example of the left hand not knowing what the right hand is doing," said the judge. "It is not your fault, Mr Gaparkhoev. The only person who has power to get you to the asylum hearing is the Home Office because you are in custody.
"Nobody told the relevant prison that you had an asylum hearing. I find the whole thing astonishing."
Judge Nash said he could not impose the recommended sentence of a community order as it would be ineffective if Gaparkhoev lost his appeal.
However, he expressed the view that he believed Gaparkhoev should be allowed to stay, but would need the help of the probation service to "live sensibly and obey the rules of the country".
Judge Nash therefore adjourned sentence pending the appeal on October 3 and Gaparakhoev was remanded in custody until October 9.
"That means more expense, greater cost to you and I, not only for his full board and lodging at the local hotel but for these court appearances," he said.
At the last hearing Judge Nash ordered that a Home Office official appear before him to explain Gaparkhoev's case. But no one was in court today, although the judge had received a letter.
"I would have thought that with all this publicity greater efforts might have been made by the left hand to assist the right hand," he commented.
If Gaparkhoev, who has an English wife, loses his appeal Judge Nash said he would impose a sentence that would allow him finally to be deported "sooner rather than later."