Gran, 79, who married Brit husband 44 years ago threatened with deportation

A grandmother who married her British husband almost half a century ago has been told to leave the UK by Home Office officials.

Carolyn Hirst, 79, moved from South Africa to Wales five years ago with British hubby Michael after a terrifying robbery at gunpoint.

The pair, who tied the knot in 1975, moved in with their daughter Nikki Blandin De Chalain, in Aberedw, near Builth Wells, Powys.

But Mrs Hirst's application for indefinite leave to remain was turned down by the Home Office, reports Wales Online .

And she was then told: leave the country in two weeks or face being deported.

Nikki, 41, said: "Not for one moment did we think it would come back rejected because of her age, the fact she comes from a British family. Why can't she spend the rest of her life in the country with her family?

"She hasn't asked for anything, she's not on benefits because they live with me and my father's pension pays for their food and petrol."

Having lived in South Africa all her life, Mrs Hirst and her husband decided to move to Wales to be with their daughter and her family after they were victims of a horrendous robbery at their home in Durban.

"They broke through in the middle of the night while my parents were asleep in bed and they them up a gun point for 12 hours and stabbed a screwdriver in my father's leg," recalled Nikki.

"They cleared out the whole house so they decided to sell the house and the rest of the furniture to come leave here. It's a scary thing to happen, especially at that age, and they expect her to go back to that country. She won't cope."

In a letter dated May 10, Mrs Hirst received a letter from the Home Office notifying her of the rejection of her application.

It said: "I am writing to you to inform you that your outside the rules application and human rights claim made on November 18 2018 has been refused.

"You can appeal this decision… If you do not appeal you must leave the United Kingdom."

Having received the letter, Mrs Hirst and her family have been left petrified about what would happen to her if she were to return to South Africa, and she's now been prescribed with sleeping pills after struggling to sleep with worry.

They believe her application was turned down because she was "ill advised" to come to the UK on an ancestral visa, due to three of her grandparents being British citizens.

Nikki added: "She's been told to go back to a country where she was brutally attacked with nothing to her name. The Home Office even suggested we should all go back with her even though we're British nationals.

"I don't think she would cope, it would be the end of her life. She will be turning 80 in a couple of months time and I want them to be in the UK so I can look after her.

"She's petrified, tearful and emotional. It's our job to try and keep the situation calm and to fight like hell when she's sleeping or doing something else but we're petrified out of our minds as well."

Mrs Hirst's family are appealing the Home Office's decision and her case has received letters of support from Chris Davies MP and Kirsty Williams AM, who wrote: "To deport her now would be a cruel and unjustified action unworthy of a country that would like to see itself as civilised."

Mrs Blandin De Chalain has also started an online petition in support of her mother.

A Home Office spokeman said: " In light of further information received, we have contacted the family to advise them that we will reconsider Mrs Hirst’s application.

"We will take into account any additional evidence that is submitted."

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