AN ASYLUM seeker fighting to stay in Bury was given a last-minute reprieve when his deportation to Cameroon was halted.

Bernard Batey, of Kestrel Drive, had been booked on a flight from Heathrow on Saturday night after losing his battle to remain in the UK.

His lawyers initially failed to get an injunction on Friday to stop him being deported, but it is understood the injunction was granted later that day and his flight was cancelled.

Mr Batey now remains at Colnbrook immigration removal centre, in Middlesex, where he was taken last Monday after being detained by officers from UK Border Agency.

His campaigners are continuing to fight for permission for him to remain in the UK, but they are unsure of the legal basis for the deportation being stopped.

Mr Batey’s wife, Lydia Besong, is also claiming asylum. She was not at home when Mr Batey’s notice of removal was served last week, but supporters believe she had been booked on the same flight. The couple fled Cameroon in 2006, claiming they were persecuted for their involvement with the SCNC, a pressure group campaigning for independence for southern Cameroon.

It is alleged they were both imprisoned and tortured in Cameroon and Mrs Besong was raped by a prison guard.

They fear their lives could be at risk if they are deported to Cameroon.

Mrs Besong said: “I am very scared for Bernard because I know what will happen to him if he is returned. I know he will be detained and he will be ill-treated. He may even be detained indefinitely.

“I am asking that the authorities review our case and even accept a case for Bernard in his own right. We both need protection right now.”