SA v HMA 2018

‘SA’, an EEA national, was convicted of vandalism at Hamilton Sheriff Court in 2016 and he was fined £100 as a result of this offence. As a result of this crime he was ordered to be deported from the country after an investigation, despite him being in employment and living in the country since 2013.

However, this was quashed as the Inner House stated that he did not present “a genuine, present and sufficiently serious threat affecting one of the fundamental interests of society”. It was argued initially that this was a domestic incident and the appellant had an argument with his partner’s sister which resulted in the crime.

The argument for the advocate general was that this offence coupled with the previous convictions in Romania (which were not serious nor violent) was enough for the order to be justified.

However the appeal court described this approach as “irrational.” Lady Paton said: “First, the offence of causing damage to property does not suggest any propensity to commit violence against a person. Secondly, the offence of causing damage to property does not suggest any likelihood of a recurrence of the type of offending which took place in Romania.

In fact, the Romanian offences are wholly dissimilar. Thirdly, the index offence was, as the FTT itself recognises, ‘not a particularly serious offence’. Fourthly, the Romanian offences were more than 10 years old.” It was therefore held that this was an error in law and this deportation order was quashed.