Council ‘failed’ London twins facing deportation to different countries

Family photo of Darrell and Darren Roberts Image copyright Family photo
Image caption Darrell and Darren Roberts were taken into care aged 13 when their mother died

The partner of a London-born man who could face being deported to the Caribbean has claimed his council never tried to register him as British.

Twins Darrell and Darren Roberts, 24, said they were issued with deportation notifications while in jail.

Ealing Council, which took the boys into care when they were 13, said they had “repeatedly engaged” with the pair to sort out their immigration status.

But Darren’s partner said the council “definitely haven’t”.

The Home Office said neither of the brothers “are currently detained under immigration powers, nor are they subject to deportation orders”.

But lawyers claim they have “physically seen the stage one notice of the intention-to-deport notice that was served.”

Darren’s partner, who asked to remain anonymous, said the 24-year-old, who is serving a sentence for grievous bodily harm (GBH), had “given up” the fight with officials regarding his deportation.

“I think he’s just at the point where he’s given up,” she said.

“He doesn’t feel like he has the power to fight the system any more so if he goes [he told me] to make sure I bring our son to see him.”

Image copyright Family photo
Image caption The twins were born in England, but neither their parents nor their carers applied for citizenship

Darrell was sentenced to a six-year prison sentence for a separate charge of GBH at the age of 17.

The twins were born in west London to parents from the Caribbean islands of Dominica and Grenada, with neither parent having UK citizenship.

They were taken into care by Ealing Council’s social services at the age of 13 when their mother died and their father returned to Dominica.

Darren has been warned he faces deportation to Grenada when he finishes his jail sentence.

Neither their parents nor social services applied for the their British citizenship when they were children, leaving the twins technically stateless.

Darren’s partner claims Ealing Council has not engaged with the twins to discuss their immigration status “at all”.

“I’ve had a lot of dealings with Ealing Council on behalf of Darren and it’s never been straightforward with them,” she said.

“I do think Ealing Council should have registered them as British citizens when they were 13 and when they were minors.”

Image copyright Family handout
Image caption Darren and his partner have a five-year-old son

An Ealing Council spokesperson said: “Ealing Council’s children’s services have repeatedly engaged with both Darren and Darrell, their solicitors and the prison service to provide all documentation to allow them to apply for immigration status.

“Neither of the young men signed the documentation to allow it to be progressed.

“Darrel and Darren will be 25 in September and are eligible for Leaving Care After Care service until then to support them with their immigration status, but they do need to engage to allow it to progress.”

Syed Naqvi, Darell’s immigration lawyer, said: “I’m aware of Darren telling his family members that he’s been told by prison officials there is a plan to deport him to Grenada and with regards to Darrell I’ve physically seen the stage one notice of intention-to-deport notice that was served.

“They both have paid their debt to society. Why should they now be subjected to a double punishment when all but for an application which should have been done by adults who were in charge of their care.”