Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Deported Woman's Husband Tells of Family's Anguish; COUPLE THOUGHT ISSUE WAS JUST RED TAPE HITCH

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Deported Woman's Husband Tells of Family's Anguish; COUPLE THOUGHT ISSUE WAS JUST RED TAPE HITCH

Article excerpt

Byline: KATIE DICKINSON and SONIA SHARMA Reporters ec.news@ncjmedia.co.uk

THE devastated husband of a woman deported to Singapore after 27 years of marriage has told of the heartbroken phone call she made to him as she was being taken to the airport.

Distraught Irene Clennell had been held in a detention centre in Glasgow for several weeks.

But, on Sunday, she was sent back to her country of origin, apparently without warning or the chance to say goodbye to her loved ones.

Now husband John has revealed that Irene called him as she was being removed from the centre on Sunday.

"She was absolutely devastated," said the 50-year-old.

"She was saying: 'They're taking me to the airport, I'm being sent back.' "I couldn't believe what I was hearing.

"She gave me a few instructions of things I needed to do, about paperwork for the solicitor and things, and that was that."

The 52-year-old had been living in Ouston, near Chester-le-Street, with John, before being detained.

The couple have two sons - John, 26, and Sonny, 24 - as well as a 10-monthold granddaughter.

A campaign is under way to bring her home, with more than PS30,000 raised in an online appeal.

Former gas fitter John, 50, who relied on his wife for full-time care, has written to Theresa May to protest.

He told how she had 'nowhere to go' in Singapore.

"I am still just stunned about the whole thing.

We don't where in Singapore, her parents passed whole in "We went up to see her on Friday at the detention centre and she seemed to be fine.

"I was unaware of what was about to come.

"We have been fighting all along to get bail for her so that she could come home while it was sorted out. To us, it seemed like red tape that just needed to be cut through - we thought she'd be coming home, and so did Irene.

"The idea that they would actually go through with his and send her to Singapore just seemed so ridiculous that it couldn't happen. …

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