A convicted burglar from Croydon whose brother was murdered last year has been saved from deportation just hours before he was meant to fly home.
Patrick Kingonzila, 25, who now lives in Thornton Heath, was ready to return to the Democratic Republic of Congo on Monday after serving a six-year sentence for burglary. He was given permission by the Home Office to stay on human rights grounds due to tragic family circumstances.
The murder of his brother, Oliver, 19, who was killed in a “frenzied” attack outside a bar in Croydon last year, was the second tragedy to strike the family in a matter of months, as his older brother, Herve, 27, died from a heart attack earlier that year.
The delay follows an emotional plea made by Mr Kingonzila last year, where he begged to be allowed to stay. “My family needs me now more than ever”, he said. “I’m not proud of what I did and I have paid a heavy price for it”, he continued: “I lost two brothers while I was inside, and there was nothing I could do about it. Now my family needs me. I’m the only one who can pull them through this.”
A UK Border Agency spokesman explained: “Mr Kingonzila’s representatives have submitted further representations. His deportation has been suspended while we consider those representations.”
Croydon Central MP, Andrew Pelling, is backing the decision to let him stay so he can remain with his grieving family. “I have been happy to support the Kingonzila family at a difficult time, and I hope justice prevails and the rigor of the law is applied in this distressing case.”