South African woman, 92, wins right to stay in UK


Myrtle Cothill (92) with her daughter Mary Wills at Wills' UK home. Cothill is under threat of deportation by the UK Home Office for not following immigration procedures.

LONDON – Myrtle Cothill, the 92-year-old South African woman who was facing deportation from the UK, will be allowed to stay in the country, the Home Office has announced.

Cothill had been living in Poole, Dorset with her daughter Mary Wills, 66, who is a qualified carer, since her arrival in the UK in 2014. 

The frail woman, who suffers from heart problems and poor eyesight, cannot walk unaided and is unable to care for herself. Her daughter and her husband are not South African citizens and cannot accompany Cothill to the country.



Two weeks ago, the widow heard her bid to stay in the UK had been rejected. After a public outcry, the Home Office postponed her deportation to await medical reports. 

A psychiatrist, Dr Benjamin Robinson (from Maudsley psychiatric hospital in London) diagnosed Cothill as suffering from severe depression and anxiety, which she had developed after realising she would be separated from her daughter.



In his report, he stated that his prognosis was that Cothill&39;s mental and physical state would rapidly decline if she was separated from her daughter and she would be at considerable risk of dying within three months. 

As a result, the Home Office has reconsidered the case, stating: “Subject to final security checks and enrolment of biometrics, Mrs Cothill will be granted leave to remain without recourse to public funds.”



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