A popular community member faced with deportation back to his war-torn country is to be reunited with his family tonight after immigration officials decided he could stay in the UK.

Mohammed Samad, 23, from Hurstpierpoint, was detained a week last Tuesday without warning during regular visits to check in with immigration officials in Croydon.

He had been held since that time at the Colnbrook detention centre near Heathrow but he is now on his way back home to The Hawthorns, Hurstpierpoint after being released earlier today.

Tonight his family are celebrating and anticipating his return for an emotional reunion with his wife Sarah and two-year-old son Oscar.

Mr Samad's lawyer, Parvez Motiwala, said: "I can't believe this has happened. We fought for this and it is brilliant news as there were exceptional circumstances in this case. We are over the moon."

He added the Home Office had decided to give Mr Samad "leave to stay" in the country after representations from lawyers. There is no set period of time but Mr Motiwala believes it could probably be at least a year before immigration officials take another look at the case.

Mr Samad met and married his wife Sarah, 21, here and they have a son, Oscar, two and has held down a long-term job as a groundsman at Hurstpierpoint College.

He has paid his taxes in full and become a hugely popular member of the community and a key player for Henfield Cricket Club.

Supporters of Mr Samad have described him as a "model immigrant".

Read The Argus tomorrow for more details.