The deportation of an HIV-positive Zimbabwean man from the UK has been blocked by the Supreme Court. The 33-year-old man has a lengthy criminal record but judges ruled that removing him would breach his human rights.

The judges said the man, identified only as AM, would be denied access to life-saving treatment with the anti-retroviral medication Eviplera if sent back to Zimbabwe. The drug is not available in Zim.

The Guardian reports that the case has been sent back to the lower courts for reconsideration. AM was born in Zimbabwe in 1987 and came to the UK in 2000. He and his mother, who had already been living in Britain, were granted indefinite leave to remain in 2004.

In the following years, he accumulated convictions for battery, assault, receiving stolen goods and twice for possession of a blade in public. In 2006, the Home Office first made an order to deport him. He has since married and had a son.

Three years later, he was convicted of further serious offences including possession of a firearm and heroin with intent to supply. He was jailed for nine years.

In 2012 his lawyers challenged the Home Office deportation order, submitting evidence that he had first been diagnosed with HIV in 2003 but that he had not become seriously ill until later.

The first anti-retroviral drug produced severe side effects. When he was switched to Eviplera his blood count increased and he recovered.