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  1. ITV Report

Couple spared deportation from UK after appeal

Gail and Paul Freathy can now stay in the UK thanks to an appeal. Credit: ITV News Westcountry

A couple from Brixham who run a photography shop in Torquay have been spared deportation from the UK to South Africa, after an appeal against a Home Office ruling.

Paul and Gail Freathy both featured on a previous report for ITV West Country earlier this year, fearing the worst, they had prepared to sell their business, believing they would have to leave the country.

Gail, who does not have a British Passport, was told she had 28 days to return to her native South Africa.

The pair have been sent cards, balloons and flowers by customers to their shop 'Photo Matters' in St Marychurch. Credit: ITV News Westcountry

Paul did have the right to remain in the UK, due to owning a British Passport, but he insists he would have left the country to accompany his wife if she was forced to return to South Africa.

The pair moved to Torbay two years ago after a short stint in London.

However, Gail had previously failed to meet the required salary to remain in the country on a spousal visa, due to what the couple called 'an accounting error'. They say much of the profits earned from their business went into financing their shop, rather than into personal earnings.

However the pair challenged the ruling, using the European Convention on Human Rights, and after 16 months, Gail received a letter saying her appeal had been successful.

Gail, and her husband say they can now carry on with their lives and look forward to a future in Torbay:

The Freathys say they have been inundated with support from the local community around their shop in St Marychurch, Torquay.

Thousands signed a petition to support their case when it went up for appeal.

"We can't stress how important the local community has been to Gail's appeal.

And since the result came through, we have had people coming into our shop to congratulate us and send their well wishes.

We even have over 2,000 comments on our facebook page after we broke the news.

We just want to return the favour by serving this community."

– Paul Freathy
The couple say customers have been very supportive of their battle to remain in the UK. Credit: ITV News Westcountry