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A WINDRUSH campaigner has “died a broken woman” a month after delivering a petition to Downing Street that called on the government to address the failings that led to the scandal.
Paulette Wilson, who died unexpectedly aged 64 on Thursday, was a “precious gem” who was “broken by the government,” according to family friend and fellow Windrush campaigner Patrick Vernon.
Ms Wilson, from Wolverhampton, came to Britain from Jamaica aged 10 in the late 1960s and recently spent two years under the threat of deportation.
She spent some time in a detention centre before being told she could stay in Britain in 2017.
Mr Vernon said yesterday: “It’s a complete shock. She died a broken woman, that’s all I can say.
“The hostile environment, which is based on fear and intimidation, impacted her mental health ... people underestimate [its] impact,” she said.
“And then she really struggled with the compensation form. She really, really struggled with that.”
Mr Vernon was with Ms Wilson last month when they delivered a petition to Downing Street, signed by more than 130,000 people, calling for action to address failures, and demanding swift compensation for victims.
He described a tweet posted by Home Secretary Priti Patel in tribute to Ms Wilson as “rubbish” and predicted that there will be a lot of anger in the community about how she was treated.
A statement from Ms Wilson’s daughter Natalie Barnes, said: “My mum was a fighter and she was ready to fight for anyone.
“She was an inspiration to many people. She was my heart and my soul and I loved her to pieces.”
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