A 92-YEAR-OLD woman from Poole has been allowed to stay in the UK permanently to live out the rest of her days with her family.

Myrtle Cothill was first threatened with deportation when the Home Office issued a removal direction at the start of last month.

Two weeks ago she was told she would have to board a flight back to South Africa, and could be kept at a detention centre should she refuse to cooperate.

The Home Office was forced to review its decision after medical records indicated Mrs Cothill was too sick to travel or live by herself.

A petition calling for her to remain in the UK has been signed by over 150,000 since her possible deportation was first reported.

Now she can stay with her daughter, Mary Wills in Parkstone.

She will have her fingerprints recorded and will be issued the right to remain in the UK in her passport.

Mary said: "Hurray!

"It's been a long two-year road she's been on. Especially when they booked her place on the plane and she had to get on it and go - that was dreadful. It's been hard.

"We've been on tenterhooks all the time. Our barrister has really worked so hard to keep my mum here."

Myrtle found out about the Home Office's most recent decision yesterday afternoon, from her solicitor Jan Doerfel.

"I woke up this morning and I thought I've got no worrying, or fear in me," she said. "No pains coming in my tummy. I'm free of it all. It's too wonderful.

"I can now spend the rest of my life with my daughter. I'm very happy and I want to thank everybody that has been enquiring after me; to all those wonderful signatures, over 150,000. England has got some wonderful people!

"I've had kindness from everybody. It's too wonderful for words how people have treated me and been with me and supported me. It's tremendous and I want to thank everybody for all their love and kindness shown to me."