JUST a week after The National revealed that Prime Minister Theresa May and the Home Office had suffered a stunning blow to their “hostile environment” immigration policy in the Scottish courts, we can today report yet another defeat for them, again courtesy of a Scottish judge.

Last week we told how, as Home Secretary, vicar’s daughter May oversaw the attempted deportation of a Malaysian Christian woman who had been attacked by Islamists in her own country. The Court of Session overruled the Home Office and gave the woman leave to appeal against the decision.

This week we can reveal that the Home Office has again suffered a humiliating setback after it tried to deport a Nigerian entrepreneur who had taken another job to support himself while his business was experiencing teething troubles.

The case of Joseph Odion Ochiemhen had already been before the Court of Session when he appealed against his deportation, which was originally ordered when Theresa May was Home Secretary.

He had come to Scotland on a student visa and stayed to work on a Tier 1 Entrepreneur Migrant visa. The court had previously heard that Home Office officials had gone to the premises of Aberdeen Alarm Co in Aberdeen and arrested Ochiemhen and others.

The Home Office later detained him in Dungavel pending his deportation for allegedly breaking the terms of his visa by working for Aberdeen Alarms when the visa stated he must only work for his own business. A previous judge found that Ochiemhen and others had not broken their visa rules, and the Court of Session quashed the deportation order only for the Home Office to seek a new deportation in June of last year.

The case before Lord Arthurson turned on whether the relevant Home Office officials should have used their discretion in light of the previous judgments in favour of Ochiemhen.

Lord Arthurson wrote that Ochiemhen’s counsel had submitted that “while there are many areas of mandatory refusal within the immigration rules, the decision to be exercised in this case was a discretionary one, and it was not apparent on the face of the decision letter of 12 June 2017 that the author of the letter was even aware that the decision which he was engaged in was discretionary; and, in any event, no reasons had been given by him in respect of any such exercise of discretion in the decision- making process.”

Lord Arthurson noted that the counsel for the Home Office had agreed that the main question to be addressed was whether the official “had properly undertaken and addressed the test of whether the petitioner was an entrepreneur. Counsel’s broad submission was that the decision-maker had duly done so and that in so doing had reached a decision that he was entitled to reach in all the circumstances.”

Quashing the deportation, Lord Arthurson stated “that the overall conclusion reached was not one that the official was entitled to come to...on the material before him and against the whole extended hinterland of this case.”

The Home Office told The National last night they would consider the court’s verdict and give a response in due course.