Bristol news Bristol man loses court case over how old he is MetiNews.Com
MetiNews.Com - There are now fears for his life after Priti Patel refused to back down
Breaking News ! A Bristol man who spent much of 2020 in hospital on hunger strike in a dispute with the Home Office over how old he is, has lost his case in the Appeal Court. The man, who came to the UK 14 years ago, says he is 26 and came here when he was a teenager, but the Home Office have stuck to a decision they made when they assessed his age, and now say he is 31. Three Appeal Court judges said the Home Office had done its age assessment of the man ‘necessarily and properly’, and the evidence was not capable of establishing that his claimed birth date was right. The man, who has never been publicly named, does not stand to gain anything from being officially recognised as being older - in fact if anything he will lose out because he won’t be able to claim a state pension for another five years, if his appeal had been allowed by the Home Office. Home Secretary Priti Patel said the man’s circumstances evoked the ‘greatest sympathy’, but stuck to the Home Office assessment, even in the face of a legal challenge all the way to the Appeal Court. The man escaped Gaza in Palestine after he had been 'severely mistreated' by resistance group Hamas for refusing to become a suicide bomber, and was granted leave to remain in Britain and settled in Bristol. He has lived here since then, but suffered a mental health breakdown when he volunteered to help at Bristol's Nightingale Hospital early in 2020. The judges said he suffered a severe relapse in his mental health after he was turned down as a volunteer because of a discrepancy between the age he said he was, and the age his official paperwork said he was. Judges said that rejection had triggered a "serious relapse" in his mental state, he had refused to eat or drink, and been admitted to hospital, and for a time was in a critical condition. Bristol Live first reported on his case in the summer of 2020, when his supporters and adopted family here appealed for help to mount the legal challenge to his age assessment.
Southmead Hospital is run by the North Bristol NHS Trust
(Image: Copyright Unknown)
The NHS mounted its own legal challenge for the right to force feed him - but in July, the courts ruled the man had the right to refuse food. Judges said now that he had been accepting "some clinically assisted nutrition and hydration" pending the outcome of the appeal but his life was in "imminent danger". In July, hospital bosses responsible for the man's care asked a judge in the Court of Protection, where issues relating to people who might lack the mental capacity to take decisions for themselves are analysed, to consider the man's case. Mr Justice Hayden decided against authorising medics to provide the man with nutrition and hydration by artificial means against his will. The judge said every effort should be made to "persuade, cajole and encourage" the man to accept nutrition and hydration. But the judge concluded that the man should be allowed to say "no" if he wanted to. Home Secretary Priti Patel recognised that the man's circumstances evoked the "greatest sympathy" but nevertheless resisted his appeal and argued that she was under no obligation to change his birth date, judges said. Judges were concerned about the impact their decision would have on the man and Lord Justice Phillips said "no effort" should be spared in encouraging him to "choose life".
Source = MetiNews.Com