Family can celebrate Christmas as deportation threat to Sussex dad is lifted

9:44am Tuesday 24th December 2013

By Melita Kiely

Three children who begged the Home Office not to deport their dad will enjoy a family Christmas reassured in the knowledge he is here to stay.

Phil Sommerville was told he would be sent back to Australia despite his British wife of 12 years and their three children living in the UK.

His family were left distraught by the news but with the support of The Argus’ campaign, Don’t Deport Daddy, immigration bosses made a U-turn on the decision to send the father-of-three back to Australia.


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Wife Isabel Sommerville, who lives with her family in Bolnore Village near Haywards Heath, said: “It will take us a long time to recover but things are definitely looking up and we are just so thrilled that Phil is still here.”

The couple will be busy preparing a traditional roast turkey dinner on Christmas Day for Mrs Sommerville’s parents and their children, Cooper, 12, Jasmin, nine, and Charlee, seven.

“The children are really excited about Christmas,”

said Mrs Sommerville.

“They are so much happier and everybody just generally feels better and they don’t have to worry that dad won’t be here.”

After approving Mr Sommerville’s visa, the Home Office sent a letter apologising for the blunders it had made while processing his application.

Things have been looking up for the Sommerville family since Mr Sommerville was handed back his passport in October. Once the saga was over he was immediately able to find work again.

“We are feeling so much better – I didn’t realise how bad I was feeling while it was all going on,”

explained Mrs Sommerville.

The stress of, is he going to be deported, and no money and wondering how we would pay the bills, that was really, really stressful so we are really looking forward to a family Christmas now.”

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