Court of Appeal finds Channel boat crossings by asylum seekers not illegal as convictions quashed

By Cathy Pound

Asylum seekers who are intercepted while crossing the English Channel in small boats have not broken the law, the Court of Appeal has found.

Judges quashed the convictions of three men who were wrongly jailed for “assisting unlawful immigration” for steering dinghies, after finding they had not committed the offence.

A fourth man who appealed against his conviction will face a retrial, and at least seven other convictions and two pending trials are under consideration.

A ruling delivered on Tuesday said the law had been “misunderstood” by the Home Office and Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), and that a legal “heresy” developed making asylum seekers believe they had no defence to the charge.

Read full article by Lizzie Dearden on The Independent website here