Grandmother deported despite living in UK for 30 years says she has been treated 'like a terrorist'

Irene Clennell, who has been deported to Singapore.
Irene Clennell, who has been deported to Singapore.
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A mother-of-two deported despite living in Britain for three decades has hit out at the Government, saying they have treated her like a terrorist and accused her of being violent.

Irene Clennell, 53, who is the main carer for her British husband John, was placed in an immigration detention centre before being deported to Singapore yesterday.

Mrs Clennell, who lived in Ouston, near Chester-le-Street and has two sons and a granddaughter, reportedly had just £12 in her pocket and no change of clothes when she was removed from the country.

In response, her family set up a Go Fund Me page to help raise legal fees for her case, as they fight what they call the "insensitive and unfair government rules" with more than £30,000 raised so far.

She has hit out at the Government, saying they have treated her like a terrorist and accused her of being violent.

She says the Home Office lied to her by promising someone would meet her in Singapore but they never did and they ticked a box on a form handed to her which says she has been violent and disruptive.

"It is a bloody disgrace, they treat me like a terrorist and anything else under the sun.

"They embarrass me in front of everybody, the only thing I did wrong was marry a British man and want to stay in the country with my kids and my husband," she said.

"I have never done wrong to anybody, all I want is my family and this is what I get."

She said: "I had to call my sister to ask her to put me up for a few days because what they told me was a lie.

"They said they would help me get a job and integrate me into Singapore society and it was all a lie.

"The people who escorted me to the airport told me there would be someone to meet up with me but they did not do anything.

"The officers handed me a letter from the Home Office which says I have exhibited disruptive and violent behaviour.

"It also says my case is subject to orchestrated public protest.

"They call my violent and all sorts of false accusations against me trying to justify what they are doing as right."

In response, her family set up a GoFundMe page to help raise legal fees for her case, which has now passed £30,000.

Sister-in-law Angela Clennell said: "It's appalling and I think it's a disgrace, especially when they have been married for nearly 30 years.

"We are all in a state of shock after they took Irene away.

"We just can't understand why they would take a grandmother, wife and carer away from her family.

"We will continue to fight as hard as we can to bring Irene home where she belongs and we are absolutely blown away by the generosity and kindness of everyone who has donated to the GoFundMe page and shared it with friends and family.

"Irene will need this money more than ever."

Mrs Clennell arrived in the UK in 1988, but spent periods of time back in Singapore to care for her parents before they died.

It is thought she has lost her leave to remain as a result of the Government's spousal visa system, which requires the British partner to prove earnings of at least £18,600 and the couple being able to demonstrate long stretches of uninterrupted time living in the UK.

John Coventry, from Go Fund Me, said the campaign had seen "explosive growth" as news spread.

The fundraising page can be found at here.