By Anna Edwards
Last updated at 11:09 PM on 13th January 2012
The UK Border Agency missed the chance to deport a failed asylum seeker who went on to murder his partner and their two children before taking his own life.
Aram Aziz killed Joy Small, 24, their son, Aubarr, 3, and daughter Chanarra, two, at their flat in Leicester, in February last year, before hanging himself.
It has now emerged officials from a department of the UK Border Agency had been searching for Aziz, an Iraqi Kurd, between May 2005 and November 2006, to expel him from the country after he had been denied asylum.
The 32-year-old was branded an ‘abusive monster’ by friends of Ms Small who say he once poured lighter fluid all over her.
Agency bosses said if the two departments had realised they were dealing with the same man, they would have deported him to Slovenia – the first country in which he had claimed asylum after leaving Iraq.
Gail Adams, UK Border Agency regional director, said: ‘Our deepest sympathies are with the family.’ She added mistakes had hindered his deportation – and apologised.
Aziz left Iraq in February 2005 and first applied to the UK for asylum in April that year under the name of Saman Ali Rahim. That was refused a month later because it was found he had already made an application in Slovenia.
He then vanished before re-emerging to make a second UK application, this time in the name Aram Aziz, in January 2006. He was moved to Leicester while that application was considered.
In December 2008, the UK Border Agency denied asylum – but because he had met Ms Small in early 2006 and had two children he was granted a three-year stay in the UK as a partner of a British national.
An investigation carried out by the Leicester Safeguarding Children Board published its findings, following an inquest earlier this week.
Its report revealed Aziz had two applications to remain in the UK turned down and twice absconded when efforts were made to deport him.
It concluded the tragedy could not have been predicted, but added ‘the only known preventative factor’ would have been if the agency had succeeded in their attempts to deport Aziz to Slovenia.
Ms Adams said the agency had tried to remove Aziz from the UK three times.
She said: ‘On two of these occasions, arrangements were made to detain Mr Aziz but he absconded.
‘We recognise that mistakes internally hindered his removal on the third occasion and for this we apologise.’
She said the agency had since changed the way it worked.
Ms Small’s father Kevin Wathall said: ‘Aziz should have been removed from the country before any of this happened.
‘There was the chance to do that but the border agency messed it up because one lot sit in a different office to the others. I would have liked a personal apology but the most important thing is nothing like this should happen again.’
The report also revealed Aziz he was given a conditional discharge for assaulting Ms Small in September 2007.
Police asked if he could be deported but the border agency turned down the request because of his pending asylum decision.