A dangerous criminal who has no legal right to be in Britain has gone on the run after a judge ruled that to detain him would violate his human rights. Failed asylum seeker Kawa ali Azad, who carries knives and is described by his ex-partner as ‘completely unbalanced,’ was granted his freedom from an immigration centre in March.
Azad, an Iraqi Kurd, who has six convictions for violence, immediately breached the bail terms of the release by failing to appear at a police station to have an electronic tag fitted. He then breached a lifetime restraining order by making threats against his ex-partner. Police have had to move her and their son and give them a new identity because of his repeated harassment.
Azad, 34, has now been on the run for more than five months – and police admit they have no idea where he is. They are so concerned about the risk he poses to his ex-partner Tania Doherty that she has been ordered not to visit family and friends and to carry an ‘abduction pack’ with the details and DNA of her son of four, in case he is snatched.
Miss Doherty, whose new name cannot be disclosed, says she is terrified he will return to kidnap their son or hurt her family – both of which he has threatened. ‘I just cannot believe he was released,’ she says. ‘I am disgusted. ‘He has attacked me in broad daylight and threatened to kill me and members of my family. I really fear for my son.’
Azad has been convicted of a string of violent offences, as well as dangerous driving, since he arrived in Britain.
When Miss Doherty ended their relationship in 2006, he battered, harassed and assaulted her for two years. This culminated in an attack in which he beat her unconscious as she sat on a beach in Eastbourne with their son before attempting to snatch the boy.
Azad was jailed for 12 months after the attack. Following his release from prison the Border Agency tried to deport him and he was flown to Baghdad airport. But Iraqi authorities refused to accept him and he was sent back to Colnbrook immigration removal centre near Heathrow.
He was detained because he no longer had any legal right to stay in the country. When he was at first refused bail from the centre he flew into a rage, damaging a courtroom and having to be restrained by staff.
But in March this year an immigration judge decided to release him against the advice of police and the Home Office – on the grounds that detaining him was violating his human rights.
As soon as he was freed, Azad breached his bail by not turning up to be tagged and began leaving threatening messages on a phone belonging to his ex-partner, thus violating the lifetime restraining order preventing him from contacting her.
Miss Doherty says she is furious that, while Azad enjoys his freedom, she and her son are forced to live in fear. ‘Human rights are a joke as far as I’m concerned,’
Miss Doherty said. ‘Having to give my son a new name was the most upsetting part – it was like I lost a part of him. ‘I have had to move away from all my friends and family so I feel totally isolated – all because of him.’
A spokesman for the UK Border Agency said the Home Office had ‘strongly opposed’ the decision to release Azad. ‘We removed Mr Azad in October 2009, but the Iraqi authorities refused to accept him,’ the spokesman said.
‘Following his return to the UK Mr Azad was released on bail by an immigration judge. He has since absconded and we have shared his details with the police.’
Sussex Police said it had been searching for Kawa ali Azad ‘who we seek to arrest and interview on suspicion he breached a Restraining Order’.
The Immigration and Asylum Tribunal refused to discuss why one of its judges had released Azad.