In what is the first case of its kind to come before the Jersey courts, Amir Merikhi was found hidden in the back of his sister-in-law’s Vauxhall Corsa, which had travelled to the Island from St Malo on the Condor Rapide in January.
On Thursday, the 29-year-old Iranian national, who had been attempting to reach the UK from the ‘Jungle’ refugee camp in Calais, and has since applied for asylum in Jersey, was given a ten-week suspended jail term after pleading guilty to ‘illegally entering the Island without leave’.
Outlining the prosecution’s case in the Magistrate’s Court, police legal adviser Crown Advocate Matthew Maletroit said that the defendant was discovered after the vehicle, which was being driven by Amanda Marreakhy, was stopped by Customs officers at the Harbour on 30 January.
When the 28-year-old driver said she had nothing to declare, an officer opened the boot and found her disabled brother-in-law lying on his back.
Mrs Marreakhy and her husband Arsalan (34), who were both arrested at the Harbour, are due to appear in the Royal Court charged with arranging to bring the younger Merikhi brother into the Island and Advocate Pierre Landick, defending, said that his client, who required the assistance of a Kurdish translator in court and who is a qualified medical professional in Iran, had claimed asylum at the first opportunity after ‘fleeing’ Iran.
The advocate said Merikhi had lost his job and home and was attempting to seek asylum in the UK, where his brother and sister-in-law live and Assistant Magistrate Peter Harris, presiding, said that the case was too serious to be dealt with by a binding over order and that because of Merikhi’s difficulties with English and his disability, community service was not an option.
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