Iranian paedophile who is described as a ‘danger to the community’ and has fought to stay in the UK for 14 years claims he cannot be deported because he has converted to Christianity

An Iranian pedophile who fought a 14-year asylum battle claims he cannot be deported because he converted to Christianity and is tattooed with a cross.

The 45-year-old sex offender – described as a ‘danger to the community’ but whom The Mail on Sunday is barred from naming by a court order – was baptized just 11 days before he launched his latest legal appeal to be released in Britain to stay

Last year, an immigration judge dismissed his claim, ruling that his failure to acknowledge the ‘heinousness’ of his sickening crimes showed that he was not a Christian.

But, in a stunning development, the judge was reprimanded by a more senior judge for a ‘completely inappropriate analysis’ of the pedophile’s ‘relationship with God’.

The case, which has already come before six judges during a seemingly endless cycle of appeals, will have to be heard again at another immigration tribunal.

An Iranian pedophile who fought a 14-year asylum battle claims he can't be deported because he converted to Christianity and is tattooed with a cross (stock image)

An Iranian pedophile who fought a 14-year asylum battle claims he can’t be deported because he converted to Christianity and is tattooed with a cross (stock image)

More than 300 migrants have appealed to the Upper Tier Immigration Tribunal on the grounds that they converted to Christianity (stock image)

More than 300 migrants have appealed to the Upper Tier Immigration Tribunal on the grounds that they converted to Christianity (stock image)

The criminal, known as MM, is one of more than 300 migrants who appealed to the Upper Tier immigration tribunal on the grounds that they had converted to Christianity.

Other cases include a 43-year-old Bangladeshi man jailed for a minimum of 12 years for murdering his wife, and a 37-year-old Somali career criminal convicted of 12 offences, including assault and burglary

Meanwhile, chemical attack suspect Abdul Ezedi has been granted asylum after claiming to have converted to Christianity despite two convictions for sexual assault and exposure.

Police were searching the Thames in central London yesterday, with officers saying they believe the 35-year-old is likely to have drowned after falling into the river from Chelsea Bridge.

He was last seen leaning over railings there shortly before midnight on January 31.

Former Home Secretary Dame Priti Patel last night described the MM case as ‘appalling’, adding: ‘The Church must stop helping dangerous criminals and those who want to exploit our system.

‘These violent criminals need to go from prison to plane. This is what the public expects.’

The Church of England has insisted that it is not its job to investigate asylum seekers.

Court documents obtained by the MoS reveal how MM entered the UK illegally in 2010 after leaving Iran. His first claim for asylum was rejected two months after his arrival – triggering a series of appeals.

Six years later, while waiting to find out if he had been granted indefinite leave to remain, he was found guilty of two counts of sexual assault and jailed for seven and a half years.

Court documents reveal he committed sex crimes against a child.

The sex offender was baptized just 11 days before he launched his latest legal appeal to stay in Britain (stock image)

The sex offender was baptized just 11 days before he launched his latest legal appeal to stay in Britain (stock image)

He was served with deportation papers in 2018, but filed a human rights appeal.

Later that year, he began attending his prison’s chapel. However, by early 2020 it appeared that his appeal had been defeated and he was close to being deported.

He then filed a new human rights claim based on the risk of being tortured and killed in Iran for abandoning his Muslim faith. He also claimed that he would be in danger because his brother worked for the BBC.

On February 19, 2020 – 11 days before this new claim was submitted – he was baptized. He also claimed to have a tattoo of a Christian cross, although the Home Office claimed his interest in Christianity began shortly before he was jailed.

In March 2021, Judge Paul Cruthers allowed his appeal, ruling that MM had ‘become genuinely committed to the Christian faith’ and would be ‘real risk’ in Iran.

The judge was said to have been ‘impressed’ by evidence from Wesley Downs, the boss of Christian charity Renewal North West, which provided a weekly study group in MM’s prison. Mr. Downs declined to comment over the weekend.

Later that year, Judge Cruthers’ ruling was overturned by the Upper Tribunal and MM’s case was sent back to the First Tier Tribunal.

This time, in a scathing ruling, another judge dismissed MM’s case, saying he did not believe his claim that he had converted to Christianity.

He criticized the offender for ‘minimizing’ his crime and ‘blaming the victim’ and said he had ‘failed to show that he honestly and sincerely acknowledges the seriousness of his sex offenses against a child’.

Despite this, MM was allowed to appeal and in a ruling last month, Judge Peter Lane criticized the earlier decision, saying the judge had ‘communicated with an… inappropriate analysis, peppered with rhetorical questions, of the appellant’s relationship with God begins’.

The criticized judge was not named in publicly available documents and the judiciary refused to reveal his name last week.