Asylum seekers who posed as children won a High Court case against a council to have them placed in adult accommodation despite being ruled over 24.
They were among three males who arrived in the UK in August and September last year and all placed in the Holiday Inn in Wembley.
The Home Office decided that the trio would be accommodated in the hotel, which was intended for adults and had approximately 180 others.
Two were from Afghanistan and one were from Sudan. It was believed that they were all over 25,
All three arrived at different times, and they did not know one another. Brent Council was contacted and they agreed to age assessments for all three.
Today, Mr Justice Poole, High Court Judge, ruled that the council had acted illegally because it didn’t treat them as minors at that time.
He stated that because they had agreed to be age-assessed, it triggered legal guidance that said they should be treated like minors until the tests come back.
This is despite age-assessments later determining that one of the Afghan migrants was 24 years old and the Sudan refugee at 25. The other Afghani citizen was a 16-year-old child.
The Home Office thought that three of them were over 25 and placed them in an adult-designated Holiday Inn
Brent Council agreed that they would be assessed, sparking the law.
This latest ruling comes one year after parents were afraid that a grown-up man had opened a school.
After having heard arguments at a High Court hearing earlier in the month, the judge, who is based London, explained his reasoning in a written ruling.
He stated that there was no evidence to suggest that the hotel’s ‘putative child’ was’safeguarded from risk by adult strangers’ or that any account was taken for promoting the welfare three asylum-seekers.
The judge was told by lawyers representing the council that the three asylum-seekers were provided with adequate accommodation. They also stated that their ‘physical appearance’ and ‘demeanour’ strongly suggested they were an ‘adult male at least 25 years of age’.
Justice Poole stated that each of them had been “age assessed” and that appropriate accommodation was provided.
He added: ‘It was… unreasonable for the defendant local authority to determine that it did not appear to it that these three claimants required accommodation, and the local authority was in breach of its duty under section 20 of the Children Act 1989 by declining to provide accommodation to these three claimants pending the outcome of their age assessments.
“The defendant’s decisions in these cases not to accommodate claimants under section 20(Children Act 1989) were illegal.”
Priti Patel, Home Secretary is considering Xraying migrants to determine their age
The judgement has been made public so the council could be subjected to legal costs and payments of assistance. MailOnline reached out to it for comment but the council did not respond.
This is the latest development of a long-running debate about how asylum-seekers with no identity papers should have to age.
Last year a school pupil who claimed to be 15 but looked 40 disappeared from classes after October half-term.
Parents of the Coventry school expressed concerns about the student seeking asylum, who is believed to have arrived from Gambia, West Africa.
After parents were reassured by the city council, the Home Office launched an urgent investigation into the matter.
The school said it had been able to verify the pupil’s age, but did not explain how – further fuelling concerns about the balding male.
Asylum seekers who are legitimate child victims of terror, war, or humanitarian disasters will be entitled to financial assistance for accommodation up to the age 25. Children under 18 are not eligible for asylum.
Earlier this year, it was announced that migrants would be subject to Xrays to confirm their age and ensure they aren’t lying.
Priti Patel will reveal new powers to use scientifically verified methods to confirm age.
The amendments to National and Borders Bill will allow Xrays of the forearm bones. This is a way to accurately report the maturity and health of the skeletal system.
They are believed to be targeting those who lie about their age in order to increase their chances of receiving asylum.
It would bring the UK into line with other European countries, as well the US, that use dental Xrays.