A BOGUS asylum seeker who now lives in Mexborough after fleeing Egypt has been given permission to stay in the UK, despite lying to immigration authorities.
Mohammed Zahran, who left Eygpt because he got a girl pregnant, can now remain in the UK because he went on to marry a Lithuanian woman.
Cafe owner Mohammed Zahran (32), of Avondale Road, Mexborough, posed as an Iraqi refugee and despite his asylum application being refused, was given exceptional leave to stay in the UK for four years.
His true identity was only revealed via fingerprints when he applied for permanent residency based on his marriage to an EU citizen.
Zahran pleaded guilty at Croydon Crown Court to obtaining leave to remain in the UK by deception on July 10, 2002 and dishonestly obtaining a travel document on September 11, 2002.
But Croydon Crown Court Recorder, Mr Warwick McKinnon, told Zahran: “A lot of water has passed under the bridge since these offences.
“You have got married—a legal marriage—and have joint responsibility for a nine-year old child.
“You have employment and the right to reside in the UK under European law.”
The court heard that Zahran successfully posed as a 17-year-old Iraqi asylum seeker to obtain leave to remain after receiving advice from an immigration agent.
He got married in 2004 and applied for residency four years later.
Mr David Jones, mitigating, told the court: “He fled Egypt because he had great concerns about his life.
“He is a hard-working, reliable member of society entitled to stay in this country.”
Judge McKinnon refused to make a recommendation for deportation and sentenced
Zahran to a twelve-month community order, with 100 hours’ community service work.