Abdul Ezedi was granted asylum by a judge who accepted he was a Christian convert despite concerns the sex offender was a liar, court records show.

A raft of previously confidential documents disclose for the first time how the man police believe carried out a harrowing chemical attack in Clapham earlier this year had been allowed to stay in the UK even though he had a criminal conviction.

The rarely-made-public immigration tribunal court papers, obtained by media organisations after legal representations, laid bare the lengths the Afghan national went to evidence his religious conversion from Islam, and how some of those who supported him during the process were aware of his crimes, with him even signing an agreement to be effectively escorted during church services as a result.

Ezedi’s body was pulled from the River Thames last month amid a major man hunt launched after he was suspected of dousing his ex-girlfriend with alkali when he pounced on her and her children, aged eight and three, in Clapham, south London, in January.

It later emerged he previously avoided jail as the case sparked widespread debate about the role religion plays in determining asylum claims, while also raising questions over how the Government and courts scrutinise the validity of evidence presented in applications.

In a ruling dated November 10 2020, Judge WK O’Hanlon, sitting in the First-tier Tribunal (Immigration and Asylum Chamber), said: “Having considered all of the evidence before me in the round, notwithstanding my concerns as to the honesty of the appellant in relation to certain aspects of his account, I find that the appellant had been consistent in his evidence with regard to his conversion to Christianity.”

The documents were released on Tuesday after the court granted submissions from the Daily Mail, the Daily Telegraph, the Times, the BBC, The Independent and the PA news agency, who argued disclosure was in the public interest.

Ezedi arrived in the UK on January 8 2016 but his initial asylum claim was refused by the Home Office, with an appeal later rejected by the courts the following year, according to the documents.

He was handed a suspended sentence at Newcastle Crown Court on January 9 2018 after pleading guilty to charges of sexual assault and exposure, instead being placed on the sex offender register for 10 years and ordered to carry out 200 hours of unpaid work.

Just over a year later, on March 19 2019, he challenged the decision again by lodging an appeal with the First-tier Tribunal (Immigration and Asylum Chamber), arguing he feared persecution because of his religion.

The papers confirm his claim was granted after a hearing in Newcastle on October 28 2020.

Lawyers representing Ezedi argued he had “converted from Shia Islam to Christianity (Baptist).

“The punishment for this in sharia law which is practised in Afghanistan would be execution”, the documents said.

But, during proceedings, the Home Office’s legal team said the Government department did not accept Ezedi’s conversion was “genuine and long-lasting”.