He’s from Sri Lanka where Muslims don’t always use the traditional Islamic names. We will assume by the Palestinian scarf combined with the beard that he’s a Muslim. Sri Lanka is certainly not a country at war or in danger that anyone needs to leave to seek asylum from.
Asylum seeker who avoided deportation thanks to public campaign faces JAIL after sexually assaulting a 21-year-old woman
- Sivarajah Suganthan avoided deportation with help of a public campaign
- But Sri Lankan-born asylum seeker went on to sexually assault woman, 21
- Campaign led by Liberal Democrat MP for Bristol West, Stephen Williams
- Suganthan, 31, admitted crime and faces jail at sentencing in September
An asylum seeker who avoided deportation from Britain with the help of a public campaign is facing jail after sexual assaulting a 21-year-old woman.
Sri Lankan-born Sivarajah Suganthan spent 37 days in a detention centre before being allowed to remain in the UK. It followed a 2010 campaign led by then Liberal Democrat MP for Bristol West, Stephen Williams, who lost his seat last year.
Mr Williams lobbied immigration minister Damian Green to grant Suganthan asylum and presented an 800-name petition to Parliament calling for the deportation threats to end.
Suganthan, 31, went to live with friends in Bristol in 2011 but three years later he sexually abused a 21-year-old woman while staying at a night shelter in St Paul’s.
He was to face trial at Bristol Crown Court but pleaded guilty to sexual assault by penetration.
Anjali Gohil, defending, said the guilty plea was on a full facts basis.
Record Peter Towler ordered a pre-sentence report and adjourned the case for sentence on September 14.
He told Suganthan: ‘I won’t be the sentencing judge. I would have thought a custodial sentence is inevitable.’
The offence of sexual assault by penetration has a sentencing guideline ranging from a community order to 19 years in prison, depending on how it is categorised.
Suganthan, a father-of-two, was bailed on condition he has no contact with the complainant and cooperates with the making of the report.
Sri Lankan-born Suganthan spent 37 days in a detention centre before being allowed to remain in the UK. It followed a public campaign (pictured are protesters in Bristol in 2010)
Help: Liberal Democrat MP for Bristol West, Stephen Williams (pictured meeting Suganthan), lobbied immigration minister Damian Green to grant asylum to the 31-year-old from Bristol.
When Suganthan was released from detention in 2011 Caroline Beatty, manager of the Refugee Welcome Centre, said: ‘We wanted to thank Mr Williams for his help and are sure that it was his intervention that meant Siva was released.
‘We are hoping that we can count on his support in the future when he makes his fresh claim.’
Mr Williams said at the time: ‘It was wonderful to meet Siva in person and to see that he was happy and smiling and delighted to be back among friends in Bristol.
‘I am pleased that I and my staff were able to be of help.’
Suganthan came to the UK in 1999 at the age of 14. His initial claim for asylum was refused in 2003, and dismissed a second time in 2004 following an appeal.