Blackburn father wins Liberty Human Rights Award

Blackburn Citizen: Paul Houston, second left, receiving his award. With him, from left to right, are photographer Mary McCartney, Allen and Overy senior partner David Morley and ceremony host Sandi Toksvig Paul Houston, second left, receiving his award. With him, from left to right, are photographer Mary McCartney, Allen and Overy senior partner David Morley and ceremony host Sandi Toksvig

THE father of a Blackburn schoolgirl who was killed by an uninsured driver has won a Liberty Human Rights Award.

Paul Houston has campaigned tirelessly for justice for his daughter, Amy, after failed asylum seeker, Aso Mohammed Ibrahim, left her to die in Newfield Drive in November 2003.

Iraqi Kurd Ibrahim was jailed for four months but was not deported from the country.

Ibrahim claimed he could not go back to Iraq because it was too dangerous and lawyers claimed human rights laws permitted him to remain in the country, as his right to life and to family life trumped attempts to return him to his native country.

Mr Houston, from Darwen, has since successfully campaigned to lower the speed limit in the the Ravenglass Close area to 20mph and to get a law criminalising causing death while being disqualified from driving passed.

He has also campaigned over the Human Rights Act and the way the case was handled by the Home Office.

He was awarded the Human Rights ‘Close to Home’ Award at a ceremony in South Bank Centre, London. He said: “It’s nice to get recognition for everything that you’re trying to achieve and I do believe the truth needs to be revealed.

“But I did not do any of this for accolades. Nothing will bring Amy back.

“I just wanted justice for my daughter and to know that if the same thing happened to anyone else, they would not have to go through what we went through.

“I was given the award the day after the 10-year anniversary of Amy’s death.

“I think she would have been proud of me.”

Lawyers advised Mr Houston that the Human Rights Act meant Ibrahim could not be deported but, after working with Liberty, he now feels that this view was ‘misguided’ and that responsibility was with the Border Agency.

He said: “The Border Agency issued notice to Ibrahim that he was required to leave the UK but it didn’t happen.

“When I was told that the Human Rights Act was to blame for the lack of justice for Amy, it was really just covering up a Home Office error.”

Director of Liberty, Shami Chakrabarti, said the award was for Mr Houston’s ‘courageous defence of rights and freedoms in response to a toxic campaign that used his daughter Amy’s death to undermine the Human Rights Act’.

Comments (9)

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2:23pm Mon 2 Dec 13

useyourhead says...

Well done on a well deserved recognition for our old friend Paul, time has passed since that terrible day we heard the news that Amy was gone, but his passion for justice has never dwindled.
Well done on a well deserved recognition for our old friend Paul, time has passed since that terrible day we heard the news that Amy was gone, but his passion for justice has never dwindled. useyourhead

2:58pm Mon 2 Dec 13

noddy57 says...

so richly deserved, your daughter would be so proud of you. congratulations to a thoroughly decent man who has fought for justice for his daughter and never wavered,
so richly deserved, your daughter would be so proud of you. congratulations to a thoroughly decent man who has fought for justice for his daughter and never wavered, noddy57

3:05pm Mon 2 Dec 13

Ian the Beancounter says...

Well done, Paul. Many of us have watched the developments in this case and been appalled at the injustice. But you never let it be forgotten and your constant campaigning has brought about some benefits, but sadly, not the one the country wanted.
Well done, Paul. Many of us have watched the developments in this case and been appalled at the injustice. But you never let it be forgotten and your constant campaigning has brought about some benefits, but sadly, not the one the country wanted. Ian the Beancounter

3:08pm Mon 2 Dec 13

Ian the Beancounter says...

Ian the Beancounter wrote:
Well done, Paul. Many of us have watched the developments in this case and been appalled at the injustice. But you never let it be forgotten and your constant campaigning has brought about some benefits, but sadly, not the one the country wanted.
I've just re-read my quote and thought that the last line sounded critical. That was absolutely not the intention and I apologise if anyone thought it was. Any criticism is aimed fairly and squarely at the judiciary.
[quote][p][bold]Ian the Beancounter[/bold] wrote: Well done, Paul. Many of us have watched the developments in this case and been appalled at the injustice. But you never let it be forgotten and your constant campaigning has brought about some benefits, but sadly, not the one the country wanted.[/p][/quote]I've just re-read my quote and thought that the last line sounded critical. That was absolutely not the intention and I apologise if anyone thought it was. Any criticism is aimed fairly and squarely at the judiciary. Ian the Beancounter

3:15pm Mon 2 Dec 13

midas says...

"Mr Houston’s ‘courageous defence of rights and freedoms in response to a toxic campaign that used his daughter Amy’s death to undermine the Human Rights Act’.
.
Well someone hasn't (over the years) been reporting Mr Houstons comments correctly. What rights and freedoms has he courageously defended? The impression given from reading, amongst others, the LET is that he felt that Ibrahim should have been deported and that he shouldn't be able to rely on his right to a family life under the HRA!
"Mr Houston’s ‘courageous defence of rights and freedoms in response to a toxic campaign that used his daughter Amy’s death to undermine the Human Rights Act’. . Well someone hasn't (over the years) been reporting Mr Houstons comments correctly. What rights and freedoms has he courageously defended? The impression given from reading, amongst others, the LET is that he felt that Ibrahim should have been deported and that he shouldn't be able to rely on his right to a family life under the HRA! midas

3:31pm Mon 2 Dec 13

TattyAnn says...

Congratulations Paul on this award. I am so glad that your tireless campaigning over the last 10 years is still being recognised.

Sadly, it seems that the law is still not being applied consistently - recently it seems, deportation can be ordered for 'criminals' such as Trenton Oldfield who was jailed for two months (half the sentence that Ibrahim served) for the horrific crime of...wait for it...DISRUPTING THE BOAT RACE.

Apparently, Oldfield committed such a heinous crime that he was told that
'...he had to leave the country under immigration rules which allow for the deportation of convicted criminals considered a threat to national security, or whose presence is not considered “conducive to the public good”. (Independent)

Oldfield is also married to a British woman who is due to give birth. It appears that the Right to Family Life that was so stringently applied to Ibrahim's appeal apparently does not apply to Oldfield. Paul's fundamental right to have a family life with Amy was destroyed when the Border Agency failed to remove Ibrahim from the country.

Amy's tragic death and her father's determined awareness raising have continued to show how the law is unfairly applied. The application of law in Oldfield's case insults Amy's memory. Commit a series of crimes which culminate in a child's death and you are welcome to stay it seems but if you upset a bunch of wealthy idiots in boats then you're out before the ink dries on your visa.

Thank you Paul. You have my respect and continued support and I hope you and your family eventually get the justice, and peace you deserve.
Congratulations Paul on this award. I am so glad that your tireless campaigning over the last 10 years is still being recognised. Sadly, it seems that the law is still not being applied consistently - recently it seems, deportation can be ordered for 'criminals' such as Trenton Oldfield who was jailed for two months (half the sentence that Ibrahim served) for the horrific crime of...wait for it...DISRUPTING THE BOAT RACE. Apparently, Oldfield committed such a heinous crime that he was told that '...he had to leave the country under immigration rules which allow for the deportation of convicted criminals considered a threat to national security, or whose presence is not considered “conducive to the public good”. (Independent) Oldfield is also married to a British woman who is due to give birth. It appears that the Right to Family Life that was so stringently applied to Ibrahim's appeal apparently does not apply to Oldfield. Paul's fundamental right to have a family life with Amy was destroyed when the Border Agency failed to remove Ibrahim from the country. Amy's tragic death and her father's determined awareness raising have continued to show how the law is unfairly applied. The application of law in Oldfield's case insults Amy's memory. Commit a series of crimes which culminate in a child's death and you are welcome to stay it seems but if you upset a bunch of wealthy idiots in boats then you're out before the ink dries on your visa. Thank you Paul. You have my respect and continued support and I hope you and your family eventually get the justice, and peace you deserve. TattyAnn

3:48pm Mon 2 Dec 13

AnthonyUK says...

Well done Paul but this sort of thing happens every other week and it because of the Human Rights Act illegals can never be deported for taking peoples' lives and wellbeing! What about the people these sods transgress against? Poor amy's rights didn't count did they? That sod ibrahim and his family should have been force deported back to their own country at turbo speed!
Well done Paul but this sort of thing happens every other week and it because of the Human Rights Act illegals can never be deported for taking peoples' lives and wellbeing! What about the people these sods transgress against? Poor amy's rights didn't count did they? That sod ibrahim and his family should have been force deported back to their own country at turbo speed! AnthonyUK

10:22pm Mon 2 Dec 13

AnthonyUK says...

The law is so cockeyed in this country as it fails people who suffer at the hands of little turds who plague the UK coming from Europe Africa Asia The Middle East and beyond who break our laws, refuse to integrate, speak English, respect white british people etc, and generally have great disrespect and disregard for those who live here. That idiot Ibrahim and his family should've have been shipped out and back to their own country without ANY right to appeal;he did wrong NOT Amy and NOT her dad Paul who wanted justice but NEVER EVER got it because of the stupid ridiculous Human Rights Act giving immigrants asylumseekers and refugees rights to stay when they commit crimes and live above the law in the UK because our justice system allows them to!!!
The law is so cockeyed in this country as it fails people who suffer at the hands of little turds who plague the UK coming from Europe Africa Asia The Middle East and beyond who break our laws, refuse to integrate, speak English, respect white british people etc, and generally have great disrespect and disregard for those who live here. That idiot Ibrahim and his family should've have been shipped out and back to their own country without ANY right to appeal;he did wrong NOT Amy and NOT her dad Paul who wanted justice but NEVER EVER got it because of the stupid ridiculous Human Rights Act giving immigrants asylumseekers and refugees rights to stay when they commit crimes and live above the law in the UK because our justice system allows them to!!! AnthonyUK

10:59am Tue 3 Dec 13

Lancs - pensioner says...

AnthonyUK wrote:
The law is so cockeyed in this country as it fails people who suffer at the hands of little turds who plague the UK coming from Europe Africa Asia The Middle East and beyond who break our laws, refuse to integrate, speak English, respect white british people etc, and generally have great disrespect and disregard for those who live here. That idiot Ibrahim and his family should've have been shipped out and back to their own country without ANY right to appeal;he did wrong NOT Amy and NOT her dad Paul who wanted justice but NEVER EVER got it because of the stupid ridiculous Human Rights Act giving immigrants asylumseekers and refugees rights to stay when they commit crimes and live above the law in the UK because our justice system allows them to!!!
Totally agree AUK, vote UKIP and give this country a chance.
[quote][p][bold]AnthonyUK[/bold] wrote: The law is so cockeyed in this country as it fails people who suffer at the hands of little turds who plague the UK coming from Europe Africa Asia The Middle East and beyond who break our laws, refuse to integrate, speak English, respect white british people etc, and generally have great disrespect and disregard for those who live here. That idiot Ibrahim and his family should've have been shipped out and back to their own country without ANY right to appeal;he did wrong NOT Amy and NOT her dad Paul who wanted justice but NEVER EVER got it because of the stupid ridiculous Human Rights Act giving immigrants asylumseekers and refugees rights to stay when they commit crimes and live above the law in the UK because our justice system allows them to!!![/p][/quote]Totally agree AUK, vote UKIP and give this country a chance. Lancs - pensioner

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