Deported County Durham mum reunited with family in the North East

Irene Clennell was living in Chester-le-Steet with her husband John when she was deported Credit: Family photo

A grandmother who was deported despite having lived in Britain for 30 years has been reunited with her family for the first time in seven months.

Irene Clennell, who has lived in County Durham since 1990, was put in aScottish detention centre before being deported back to Singapore with just£12 in her pocket and the clothes she was wearing.

At the time of her deportation, the 53-year-old was the main carer for herseriously ill husband John - who she has been married to for 27 years.

But on Wednesday, a relieved Irene has been reunited with John on British soil for the first time since February 2.

Irene, who is mother to John, 26 and Sonny, 25, said:

Irene and John first met in a London bar, as she worked in a Casino in1989. The couple married in 1990 and Irene was given indefinite leave to remain in the UK.

However when Irene returned to Singapore to care for her sick parents, who have both since died of cancer, she fell foul of foreign office red tape.

Irene's shocking story made headlines around the world, and kind members of the public set up crowdfunding pages and raised more than £56,000 to contribute to lawyers fees, travel and accommodation.

After seven months of worrying about John's health from over 6,500 milesaway, she is now pleased to know that she can care for him again.