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Judge criticises errors in Haywards Heath dad deportation case
A judge said she was “concerned” about the number of errors made by the Home Office who are trying to deport a father-of-three.
Australian-born Phil Sommerville, 46, attended a court hearing to appeal the decision to send him back to Australia yesterday (FRI) but the tribunal was adjourned as the Home Office did not have the necessary documentation.
Mr Sommerville, who lives in Bolnore Village near Haywards Heath with his wife Isabel and their three children, told the judge: “We were told to send it [the documentation] back to the courts as it said on the letter, which we did, but at no point were we told to address it to the Home Office.”
The issue centres around a letter the Home Office claims to have sent in March requesting more information on Mr Sommerville's relationship and home life, but the family say they never received.
Yesterday it was revealed 'the letter had not been sent properly' according to the judge, and had not been tracked or traced by Royal Mail, nor was it on file at the Home Office.
The judge said: “There are a number of errors in this case.”
She added: “I am quite concerned about this case - none of it has gone smoothly.”
The hearing was adjourned for four weeks to allow the couple to provide the necessary evidence allegedly requested in March.
Speaking outside court, Mr Sommerville told how he was disappointed to have not received a result.
He said: “I would have liked to be able to move forward whichever way that was.
“Before I thought the law's the law and if a precedent has been set then that's it.
“But the judge appeared to use some common sense so if we put that into the mix, hopefully that will equal the right outcome.”
The hearing has been rescheduled for Monday, September 16.
For the family and their relatives, both here and on the other side of the world, it is another agonising wait.
Mrs Sommerville said: “To have to wait another month - it has been awful. All I was thinking was at least today we'll be able to move forward but we can't.
“I feel a bit more positive after what the judge said but I still feel quite disheartened.”
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