Sunday, October 30, 2011

Cancer patient died after being attacked by illegal immigrant in next bed

A cancer-stricken pensioner died after being attacked in hospital by an illegal immigrant who was in the bed next to him.
Anthony Wilson was throttled by the Iranian man four days after an operation to remove part of his bowel.

The 78-year-old, who had been battling cancer for three months, was asleep when he was assaulted by the immigrant, who had been brought into the hospital two days earlier complaining of breathing difficulties.

Three UK Border Agency guards, tasked with sitting next to the Iranian during his hospital stay, were forced to intervene after the unprovoked attack.

He was immediately removed from Hillingdon Hospital in Uxbridge, West London, and returned to a nearby immigration removal centre, where he is awaiting deportation. 

The attack occurred in front of other shocked patients at about 8.20am on October 17. Police were called but the border guards had already dealt with the incident.

Just 20 hours later, Mr Wilson was pronounced dead at 4.20am the next day, when police were again called to the hospital.

A post-mortem examination  concluded that Mr Wilson died from septicaemia. But an inquest has been ordered to determine whether the attack was a contributory factor.

Mr Wilson’s brother Jeffrey, 68, said: ‘I have lost my brother, who was my right-hand man. He used to do everything for me and I miss him.

‘He went for the operation and got through it and did all right, but someone may have taken his life away from him so I want to know the truth of what happened.’

Mr Wilson, who served in the Army as a teenager during National Service after the Second World War, was admitted to hospital on October 11. 

Doctors had warned him of various risks involved with the invasive surgery because of his age and because he had been fitted with a pacemaker in February. 

But the former engineer decided to go ahead with the operation and even made plans to recuperate at home by his brother’s side.

‘She said she would tell me when I came in to visit in the afternoon but when I got there they didn’t even mention it.

Jeffrey said: ‘On the Monday morning I got a phone call from the sister saying, “Something has happened but don’t worry, it is ok.”

‘All I know is that Anthony woke up and he said the man had his hands round his neck and that someone must have pulled him off, and then they took him off.

‘He wasn’t all that good. I wouldn’t say he was dangerously ill but he just said he didn’t feel all that right. They kept asking him to drink water.

‘But Anthony was one of those  people who didn’t like to make a fuss. He’d just say, “Oh I’m all right.”

‘Then all of a sudden he went downhill within 24 hours.

‘I just want to know why he died and what happened. I just want to get to the bottom of it.’

Mr Wilson worked for his local council for more than 30 years. He spent his final few years of employment at a local engineering firm before retiring at the age of 65 in 1998.

 He had lived in the same three-bedroom semi-detached house in Harefield, near Uxbridge, since he was born in 1933. 

An inquest into his death was opened and adjourned on October 20 after the hospital’s report of the attack was sent to the coroner.

Jeffrey said: ‘I was told his death had nothing to do with the incident where he was assaulted because there was no bruising.

 They thought he might have been hit in the stomach but they said there was nothing to indicate that he had been.

‘They said it was just a coincidence that the incident with the other man had happened and that he would have died anyway.

Jeffrey insists his brother said he was strangled by the immigrant, but Hillingdon Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust claims the assault ‘took only seconds and amounted to him putting an arm round Mr Wilson’s neck’. 

‘We lived together all our lives, we were best friends and I will miss him. Sometimes we fell out over different things at one time or another, as  brothers often do, but it was a good life together.’

A spokesman said in a statement: ‘We regret that we have not yet met with Mr Wilson’s family about the incident and circumstances of his death but we were waiting for the results of the post-mortem, which have only just come in.

‘We will be contacting the family straight away now we have all the information. We are very sorry that they have been caused any extra distress after the sad death of Mr Wilson.’ 

A Metropolitan Police spokesman said they attended the hospital but were not investigating and the death was being treated as non-suspicious.

The UK Border Agency confirmed it is in the process of attempting to remove the Iranian man.

A spokesman said: ‘We are reviewing this incident and, if necessary, will take appropriate action.

‘The detainee was handcuffed and accompanied by three escorts when the incident occurred.’

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