THE family of a teenage refugee killed in Banbury earlier this year has demanded a full investigation into his death.
An inquest into the death of Mohammed Hassan, 17, who died on April 1 in a lorry crash in Beaumont Road, was due to take place yesterday at Oxford Coroner’s Court after opening on April 26.
It has been adjourned as the family prepares to mount a legal challenge over Home Office handling of the case before Mohammed died.
Mohammed is believed to have been the first refugee to be killed in Britain in 2016.
Originally an Iraqi Kurd, he who had been living as an unaccompanied minor in Dunkirk, northern France, before travelling to the UK to try to find his uncle, Shamal Salih, who lives in Manchester.
Barrister Kate Beattie of Doughty Street Chambers, who is helping represent the family, said: “He told his friends he would claim asylum in the UK.
“He was worried about ISIS and the progress they had made in Iraq, and he realised if he came to them they would kill his family.”
In their submission lawyers will argue that paperwork found on Mohammed’s body by police confirms he had been in contact with UK immigration officials, who knew his age and background, in the days leading up to his death.
Ms Beattie said authorities would have been “starkly confronted” with evidence of an unaccompanied minor in Dunkirk and had therefore been obligated to refer Mohammed to French social services. She added: “It’s clear the UK border agency were aware that Mohammed was a child.”
Assistant coroner Jeremy Chipperfield gave lawyers until October 26 to make their submissions ahead of a full inquest.
The world is on course to register its highest number of migrant deaths this year, with figures from the International Organisation for Migration indicating the number of fatalities among refugees will pass 10,000 in 2016.
Speaking after the hearing yesterday, Mr Salih, who was the first to learn of Mohammed’s death by phone on April 1, said: “We don’t want anyone else to die this way, especially a child.”
A Home Office spokesman said the body does not usually comment on individual cases but added: "It is standard procedure for Border Force to pass any individual they find attempting to enter the UK illegally at juxtaposed controls to the French authorities.”