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Barrister translates for defendant in court for breaching deportation order

Byoxfordnewspaper

Oct 5, 2022

A barrister found herself having to translate for a man who entered the UK in breach of a deportation order.

Ilie Paun, 60, was arrested in Ermont Way, Banbury, on September 5. He was caught driving a Skoda Superb while disqualified from holding a licence.

Together with another, earlier that day he stole almost £290-worth of clothing from the Mango store in The Westgate shopping centre, Oxford.

And when he was stopped by the police, he was found to have re-entered the UK illegally – having previously been deported.

Paun, formerly of Toxteth, Liverpool, appeared before Oxford Crown Court on Tuesday morning, having pleaded guilty at the magistrates’ court last month to breach of a deportation order, theft and driving while disqualified.

No Romanian interpreter was available for the hearing on Tuesday. But Judge Michael Gledhill KC said he was happy for barrister Dana Bilan to translate for Paun, who speaks no English.

Her colleague at Oxford law firm Reeds, Peter du Feu, told the judge that the defendant wanted to instruct another firm of solicitors.

“Without going into any breach of confidentiality, the impasse here is the defendant would like to know what he is likely to face by way of sentence before sorting out his representation,” Mr du Feu said.

“We have explained that it doesn’t work like that. We can only do our best to guess what might happen because it is a matter entirely for the judge.

“He realises he is going to be deported and wants to get back to Romania as soon as possible. That is the situation.”

The most serious offence Paun has admitted – breach of a deportation order – was a relatively new one. It carries a maximum sentence of five years’ imprisonment, although no sentencing guidelines have been produced for judges and there was no case law.

Mr du Feu noted that his colleague was a Romanian-speaker and, as an in-house advocate, was not bound by Criminal Bar Association strike that has seen members of the independent bar refuse to attend court for Legal Aid-funded case. “I would say he really has had the best of service,” he added.

Judge Gledhill remanded the defendant in custody, giving him a week to arrange another firm of solicitors to represent him. He said: “Mr Paun, you have two barristers from a well-known and highly-respected firm of solicitors representing you this morning. You could not get better representation.”

He added: “On October 11 you will be sentenced whether or not you are represented.”

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This story was written by Tom Seaward. He joined the team in 2021 as Oxfordshire's court and crime reporter.

To get in touch with him email: Tom.Seaward@newsquest.co.uk

Follow him on Twitter: @t_seaward