This is the last article you can read this month
You can read more article this month
You can read more articles this month
Sorry your limit is up for this month
A 92-YEAR-OLD widow was left feeling she would be “better off dead” after the Home Office callously ordered her deportation to South Africa, medical evidence revealed yesterday.
Myrtle Cothill’s “removal” was set to take place this week, but new medical reports proving her frailty have won the grandmother a brief reprieve.
As previously reported by the Star, Ms Cothill has lived with her British daughter Mary Wills since 2014 and has no-one left to take care of her in South Africa.
But the Home Office showed no compassion when her six-month visitor’s visa expired, ordering that she must return to Johannesburg to renew it.
Senior psychiatrist Dr Benjamin Robinson, of Maudsley Hospital in South London, has now diagnosed her with clinical depression and severe anxiety linked to the threat of deportation.
He noted that Ms Cothill’s condition was so bad, she “has begun to think she would be better off dead, but has not made plans to kill herself because she is a religious person and this would go against God’s will.”
Dr Robinson also added that her removal would put her life at risk, with the the widow’s health expected to deteriorate rapidly in the three months following deportation.
“Ms Cothill’s mental state would rapidly decline, and this would be irreversible due to the relative ineffectiveness of anti-depressants in those severely depressed in her age group and due to the causes of her depression,” the psychiatrist explained.
“As a result, her self-care would continue to decline, including loss of appetite, loss of food intake and further weight loss, and she would be very likely to die more quickly as a result.”
Prime Minister David Cameron’s government changed immigration laws back in 2012, scrapping rules that allowed parents and grandparents over the age of 65 to join their families in Britain as elderly dependants.
Ms Cothill’s barrister Jan Doerfel argued that her removal would not only breach European human rights law but also raised the question of possible “inhuman and degrading treatment.”
If her new appeal is declined and her application for leave to remain refused, Ms Cothill will again face deportation.
Her case has provoked a storm of public protest, with Green Party leader Natalie Bennett and TV presenter Piers Morgan among those condemning the Home Office’s stance.
You can’t buy a revolution, but you can help the only daily paper in Britain that’s fighting for one by joining the 501 club.
Just £5 a month gives you the opportunity to win one of 17 prizes, from £25 to the £501 jackpot.
By becoming a 501 Club member you are helping the Morning Star cover its printing, distribution and staff costs — help keep our paper thriving by joining!
You can’t buy a revolution, but you can help the only daily paper in Britain that’s fighting for one by become a member of the People’s Printing Press Society.
The Morning Star is a readers’ co-operative, which means you can become an owner of the paper too by buying shares in the society.
Shares are £1 each — though unlike capitalist firms, each shareholder has an equal say. Money from shares contributes directly to keep our paper thriving.
Some union branches have taken out shares of over £500 and individuals over £100.
You can’t buy a revolution, but you can help the only daily paper in Britain that’s fighting for one by donating to the Fighting Fund.
The Morning Star is unique, as a lone socialist voice in a sea of corporate media. We offer a platform for those who would otherwise never be listened to, coverage of stories that would otherwise be buried.
The rich don’t like us, and they don’t advertise with us, so we rely on you, our readers and friends. With a regular donation to our monthly Fighting Fund, we can continue to thumb our noses at the fat cats and tell truth to power.
Donate today and make a regular contribution.