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Deportation of woman, 92, 'against human rights'

image captionMyrtle Cothill (left) has been cared for by her daughter Mary Wills (right) since arriving on a tourist visa

The lawyer of a 92-year-old woman facing deportation from the UK says he will take her case to the European Court of Human Rights if needed.

Myrtle Cothill, from South Africa, has been cared for by her daughter in Dorset since coming to the UK in 2014.

She had been ordered to fly home on Tuesday but the Home Office has halted proceedings pending a medical report.

Lawyer Jan Doerfel said sending Mrs Cothill home, where she had no close family, was against her human rights.

The Home Office said its decision had been upheld by two separate immigration tribunals and the suspension of her expulsion from the UK was only temporary.

Immigration lawyer Mr Doerful said: "If they don't reconsider, we'll have to see what the appeal rights are.

"We are still calling on people to help us fund taking her case to the European Court of Human rights because we believe this decision is in violation of her right to family life with her daughter in the UK."


More than 84,000 people have signed a petition urging the Home Office to allow Mrs Cothill to stay.

The widow, who came to the UK on a tourist visa, has heart problems, is losing her eyesight and cannot walk unaided.

Her daughter Mary Wills said: "Financially, she was really battling. She was not eating properly and her health was going down."

Mrs Cothill said: "I want to be with my daughter until my end. I've only got her and I feel I have no-one else I could depend on and rely on."

But the government is not convinced she should be allowed to stay.

The second of her immigration tribunals concluded it was "implicit" Mrs Cothill entered the UK as a visitor "by deception" because, among other things, she disposed of her property in South Africa before leaving the country.

A Home Office spokesman said all applications were considered on their individual merits and in line with the immigration rules.

Related Topics

  • Poole
  • UK immigration
  • South Africa

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