An asylum seeker who tried to suffocate an eight-year-old boy in
a bin liner was spared jail last week because of her mental health
Snaresbrook Crown Court, Essex, heard how Dina Lihacheva, 36, a
Russian national, had bound the child’s hands and feet with tape
before putting him into the bin liner last September. She released
him after he pleaded with her.
Annie Dixon, defending, said Lihacheva had post-traumatic stress
after being raped in Russia and abused by her husband.
She added: “This woman has been beaten and can go no lower. There’s
not much more punishment that she has not already brought on
The judge said that her actions were “entirely or largely” the
product of her poor mental health.
Lihacheva was given a two-year prison sentence suspended for two
years after she admitted child cruelty.
Meanwhile, research by the Refugee Council finds although 82 per
cent of asylum seekers interviewed said they had mental health
problems, many had not declared their needs to the National Asylum
Support Service because they feared being stigmatised or
The study of 50 asylum seekers finds only one third received a
community care assessment with an average waiting time of four
weeks, with some cases taking twice as long.
Disputes between local authorities and Nass over responsibility for
asylum seekers’ needs were cited as the main reason for delays.
- Report at www.refugeecouncil.org.uk