An Albanian lesbian has been granted residency in the UK as deporting her would breach her human rights to life with her partner, a judge has ruled.

The illegal immigrant, Emine Krasniqi, 54 had a deportation ruling overturned by three judges at the Court of Appeal yesterday to protect her private family life with Albana Lamaj.

The couple fled from Serbia to the UK in 2000 to escape public rapes by Serbian soldiers and Ms Krasniqi’s violent husband, who now has her children.

She has now lost contact with her son and daughter but is helping to bring up her partner’s child from a previous relationship where they live together in Birmingham.

Ms Krasniqi’s original attempt to stay in the country was allowed by an immigration adjudicator on the grounds of Article 8 of the Human Rights Act, until an Asylum and Immigration Tribunal (AIT) allowed an appeal by the Home Secretary saying the adjudicator had “made material errors of law” and the case was not exceptional enough.

At Monday’s Court of Appeal ruling Lord Justice Sedley concluded the AIT had no power to interfere with the adjudicator’s finding and that to hold it was not exceptional was not fair, he said the case was “beyond the run of family separation cases as to outweigh even the imperatives of immigration control”.

Ms Lamaj, 24, is now waiting for a ruling on her refugee status.