UK Grants Asylum to Zimbabwean National Despite Extensive Criminal Record

May 3, 2024
Ashley Maparura admitted possession of an offensive weapon in Corby Image National World | Report Focus News
Ashley Maparura admitted possession of an offensive weapon in Corby Image National World

Ashley Simbarashe Maparura, a 34-year-old from Zimbabwe, has been granted leave to remain in the United Kingdom, despite a lengthy criminal record, including convictions related to drugs and violence. Recently, he appeared before Northampton Crown Court on new weapons charges, further complicating his legal battles.

According to reports from the Northamptonshire Telegraph, during a hearing this week, it was revealed that Maparura has 68 previous convictions spanning multiple counties. The latest charges stem from an incident on February 16, 2024, where CCTV operators in Corby observed Maparura and an associate, Reece Cruickshank, allegedly wielding a hammer and a wrench respectively behind shops on Gainsborough Road.

The court was told that the operators tracked the duo causing a disturbance before fleeing the scene. Initially suspected of attempted robbery, the charge was dropped when the victim chose not to cooperate with the investigation, leading only to charges of possession of offensive weapons against them.

Details of Maparura’s past include a rap sheet with charges such as robbery, drug smuggling, and possession. Notably, in 2017, he was found guilty of knife possession, and in 2019, he was convicted for cocaine possession. His criminal activities continued over the years, culminating in a three-year sentence in July 2022 for drug offenses and breaching a suspended sentence order.

Despite his troubled past, Maparura’s lawyer, Rajesh Pabary, highlighted his client’s recent change in status that allowed him to remain in the UK legally, suggesting it could be a turning point. Pabary stated that Maparura, now eligible to seek legitimate employment, is trying to turn his life around, having endeavored to overcome his drug addiction while incarcerated.

Judge Rupert Mayo, addressing the court, emphasized the seriousness of Maparura’s crimes, particularly those involving weapons, acknowledging the challenges Maparura faced as an asylum seeker but condemning the extensive criminal record accrued during his time in the UK.

Maparura was sentenced to one year and four months in prison for his latest offenses. Meanwhile, Reece Cruickshank pleaded guilty to possession of a wrench but awaits sentencing, delayed due to the absence of legal representation.

The case raises questions about the criteria for granting asylum, especially against the backdrop of Zimbabwe’s dire human rights situation. Many have fled the country fearing persecution, but the extent of Maparura’s criminal activities has sparked a debate on the implications for public safety and the integrity of asylum policies.