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Friend backs Haywards Heath dad’s deportation battle with Home Office
A friend and former colleague of a father-of-three who faces deportation has spoken in support of his campaign to stay in the country.
Phil Sommerville is waiting for a second appeal into a Home Office decision to deport him to Australia – leaving behind his British wife Isabel and their three children.
Paul Cain, 52, from Bridge End, met Phil in Australia when they worked as sales reps.
After tracking each other down on Facebook, the pair realised they had both emigrated to live in the UK – Phil to Haywards Heath and Paul to Wales.
Paul said: “It wasn’t until I saw pictures through a mutual friend on Facebook, I thought that looks like London and England and I asked Phil, are you living over here?
“He was always a dedicated worker – very reliable, conscientious and committed to his work.
“My wife and I had visited the UK when I was 21 and we’d always planned to come back.”
Paul’s wife and two children have dual citizenship but Paul is in a similar boat to Phil with a five-year visa.
Paul added: “Everyone is completely bamboozled that it has got to this stage.
“We have come into the country with money, we are spending money, we’ve bought a house, cars, paid lots of tax to the UK. And Australia is part of the commonwealth.
“Seeing what Phil is going through does make you think about your own situation.”
Phil is still waiting to hear if his appeal has been successful, but with no time scale it is an agonising time for the family.
He said: “We’re in limbo which is the worst thing and you have moments where you go, ‘I’m going to have a break down’.
“We just have to hope for a positive result.”
Don’t Deport Daddy will support the family in their battle to keep Phil in the UK.
The Argus believes it is cruel and quite plainly wrong to split up a loving father from his wife and children.
We are calling on common sense to prevail and for the Home Office to reassess the family’s situation.
We are backing the calls of Cooper, 12, Jasmin, 8, and Charlee, 6: “Don’t Deport Daddy.”
Email us with your messages of support at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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