HE broke a window. That’s all. Just a window. Yet the then Home Secretary approved the order to deport a Romanian man with family in Scotland back to his native land.

The Romanian national, who cannot be named for legal reasons which The National accepts, was fined £100 at a sheriff court in early 2016. He broke a window during a domestic argument and was charged with vandalism.

He broke a window, yet despite living here for three years perfectly legally as a citizen of the European Union, being employed here and paying taxes, and having no other recent convictions, the then Home Secretary approved the deportation order on June 3, 2016.

That Home Secretary was Theresa May. Her successor Amber Rudd then continued using the whole panoply of the British state to try and expel the Romanian resident in Scotland, all because he broke a window.

Proof positive that Prime Minister May created a hostile environment in which even legal immigrants could be deported for the most minor offences has emerged in a judgement issued by the Scottish courts.

In one of the most withering condemnations of a UK Government action yet delivered by the Scottish judiciary, not only did three Scottish judges find against the Home Office, they refused to send the case back to an immigration tribunal as Amber Rudd’s Home Office wanted, and instead quashed the Deportation Order in its entirety. It is not clear whether May personally signed the Deportation Order, or whether Rudd knew what was being done.

As with all convictions of foreign nationals, the Home Office is informed. After the Deportation Order nearly two years ago, two Immigration Tribunals, the First Tier (FTT) and Upper Tribunals (UT), accepted the Home Office’s view that the man should be deported to Romania. They contended that three convictions in his homeland prior to 2004, added to his breaking of a window during a family dispute, represented “a genuine and sufficiently serious threat” that justified deportation.

The three Scottish judges, Lady Paton and Lords Brodie and Glennie, found that the Home Office’s actions and the tribunal decisions were wrong.

Giving the judgement Lady Paton wrote: “The relevant regulation, regulation 21(5)(c) of the Immigration (European Economic Area) Regulations 2006, speaks of ‘a genuine, present and sufficiently serious threat.’ In other words, the FTT has omitted a material word, namely ‘present’.”

Lady Paton added that the tribunals’ approach and conclusion was “irrational” for four reasons.

She continued: “First, the offence of causing damage to property does not suggest any propensity to commit violence against a person.

“Secondly, the offence of causing damage to property does not suggest any likelihood of a recurrence of the type of offending which took place in Romania. In fact, the Romanian offences are wholly dissimilar.

“Thirdly, the index offence was, as the FTT itself recognises, ‘not a particularly serious offence’ [paragraph 16 of its decision].

“Fourthly, the Romanian offences were more than 10 years old. It is our view that deportation in these circumstances would be wholly disproportionate.”

The Home Office has been contacted for its views.