Drunk illegal immigrant kills couple after sneaking back into country

Molodovan Eduard Mereohra was jailed for nine years following the deaths of David and Dorothy Metcalf but he should not have even been in the country in the first place.

The couple’s children last night attacked the immigration system after it emerged Mereohra had been deported as an illegal immigrant in 2009 but had managed to sneak back in.

The judge called for an investigation after the 26-year-old even obtained a National Insurance number and work permit despite being in the country illegally.

The family’s MP is now writing to the Home Secretary demanding action and officials from the UK Border Agency are to meet with relatives.

Mereohra crashed his Volvo C70 into the Metcalf’s Fiat Panda on New Year’s Day after a “prolonged, persistent and deliberate course of very bad driving”, Leeds Crown Court heard.

The force of the impact was so strong the Fiat, driven by 68-year-old Mr Metcalf, flew 10ft in the air and flipped end over end.

Mr Metcalf was thrown from the car on to a grass bank, where he died. Mrs Metcalf, 65, died soon after in hospital.

Mereohra fled the scene but was stopped by a bystander and held until police arrived. He then tried to blame the incident on Mr Metcalf.

The court heard he was nearly twice the drink-drive limit at the time of the crash after being at a party the night before.

Mereohra had entered the country illegally in October 2008 and applied for asylum the following September 2009.

He was deported three months later but, at some stage, was able to return without notice.

In a family statement after the case, the couple’s son, Clive, said: “While we hold Mereohra responsible for his actions, we feel that our beloved mum and dad would still be alive today if the system had not failed by allowing him to be at liberty in the UK.

“We have been told that he is sorry, but we simply cannot accept that as a genuine apology.

“He chose to come to this country illegally, he chose to drink all night and get behind the wheel of his car, he chose to drive erratically and at extremely high speed, weaving in and out of traffic, he chose to flee the scene of this horrific incident and denied being the driver and refused to be tested for alcohol.

“Given those circumstances, we think the only thing he is sorry about is that he was caught.”

Judge Geoffrey Marson QC said he hoped the relevant authorities would investigate how Mereohra was able to obtain an NI number and work permit despite twice entering the country illegally.

He told the defendant: “You had been drinking heavily throughout the night and early in the morning of that dreadful day.

“You were described as being very drunk. There then followed a prolonged, persistent and deliberate course of very bad driving.

“Your motor car was a weapon achieving a speed of some 90-100mph.

“You did almost everything you could to protect yourself.”

Leeds North West Lib Dem MP Greg Mulholland said: “I will be writing to the Home Secretary, calling on her to instigate a cross-departmental investigation into this case, so that this never happens again and no family has to go through what the Metcalfs have.”

Mereohra was jailed for nine years after pleaded guilty to two counts of death by dangerous driving.

A UK Border Agency spokesman said he will be deported at the end of his sentence.


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