A VIETNAMESE man suspected of having twice been trafficked into the UK by criminal gangs has been deported.

Campaigners and his friends criticised the decision, saying he was let down by the system.

The young man, in his mid-20s and who has not been named, lived in Swindon while his asylum claim was processed by the government. He lived briefly with the family of Labour councillor Fay Howard, under a Swindon City of Sanctuary scheme pairing refugees with homeowners in the town.

The councillor said she was distraught at the Vietnamese trafficking victim’s deportation. The young man, whom Mrs Howard regarded as a second son, enjoyed cooking, table tennis and learning English.

“Our country needs to do more for those individuals who find themselves trafficked here,” she said. “It’s true the police and the public do what they can to free those trafficked, but what of them then?

“They are not getting the help they need to be rehabilitated.”

She said her former lodger had been stuck in the bizarre situation of being sent to a Home Office detention centre last week and told he would be deported in five days. He was offered an appointment with a legal representative – but the slot was scheduled for several days after he was to be sent back to Vietnam.

The Swindon Advertiser put the young man’s case to Home Secretary Sajid Javid when the minister visited the town on Friday.

Mr Javid said it was inappropriate for him to discuss an individual case. He added: “What is really important here is that when it comes to people trafficking, modern slavery, Britain is recognised a world leader with the Modern Slavery Act.”

However, Swindon City of Sanctuary's Nicola Wood said the young trafficking victim had been let down by the Home Office.

"The current system does not protect those who have been forced into modern slavery," she told the Advertiser.

“The Home Office has let down a young man who has suffered a lot and was finally finding support, friendship and love in Swindon. Someone who was following a legal process.

“He’s now been taken away, without much explanation, having been let down by the system that we believe should be protecting him from being re-trafficked.

“To regain the trust of the public, the Home Office urgently needs to restore legal aid for immigration cases and end immigration detention."