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Home Office quiet on raper's status

PUBLISHED: 08:00 03 June 2006 | UPDATED: 10:57 22 October 2010

Home Office officials remained tight-lipped last night as pressure grew over the case of an immigrant who committed a series of rapes after his work permit expired.

Home Office officials remained tight-lipped last night as pressure grew over the case of an immigrant who committed a series of rapes after his work permit expired.

Mohammed Murad was jailed for seven years after Norwich Crown Court heard he lured young and vulnerable girls as young as 12 to his home before forcing them to perform sex acts on him.

It later emerged that the 29-year-old Bangladeshi was living illegally in King's Lynn when he committed the offences in May last year.

He had been served with deportation papers but remained in the UK and even Norfolk police had been kept unaware of his immigration status.

The Home Office has refused to confirm Murad's status but it is believed that, rather than arriving as an illegal immigrant, he had overstayed his permit after originally arriving in the country legally.

West Norfolk MP Henry Bellingham has called for answers saying the public had a right to know Murad's exact circumstances and why he had been allowed to stay.

But yesterday a spokeswoman stuck to the Home Office's official line saying it could not comment on how long he had been living in the country illegally or when deportation papers had been served.

Penny Hodge said: “His file will now be passed to the Immigration and Nationality Directorate and it is recommended he should be deported after serving his sentence.

“If Mr Bellingham wants to write to the Home Office he is welcome to do so but we will not speculate any further on this case.”

The controversy comes at an embarrassing time for the Home Office as it has already been forced to face questions over its failure to deport foreigners on their release from prison.

Mr Bellingham has pledged to write to home secretary John Reid and to table questions in the House of Commons.

“The Home Office shouldn't go into denial, the whole situation is ot of control and they need to be up front about it,” he said.


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