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Cancer patient dies following attack in Hillingdon Hospital

Tuesday, 1 November, 2011 3 comments

A cancer patient has died after being attacked by an Iranian illegal immigrant as he lay in his hospital bed.

The illegal immigrant was removed to a nearby detention centre (file picture, courtesy Home Office).

Anthony Wilson, a 78-year-old man from Harefield near Uxbridge, had undergone an operation to remove part of his bowel just four days previously. He was asleep when he was assaulted by an Iranian man who had been brought into the hospital two days earlier complaining of breathing difficulties.

Three UK Border Agency guards, who had been brought in to sit with the Iranian during his hospital stay, had to intervene when the shocking and unprovoked attack on Mr Wilson took place.

The man was removed from Hillingdon Hospital immediately and returned to a nearby immigration removal centre, where he is currently awaiting deportation.

The attack occurred in front of other patients on the ward at approximately 8.20am on October 17. Police were called but the UKBA guards dealt with the incident swiftly.

Mr Wilson, who served in the Army as a teenager after the Second World War, was admitted to hospital on October 11. He had been battling bowel cancer for three months prior to being admitted.

Mr Wilson was pronounced dead at 4.20am on October 18, when police were again called to the hospital.

Following the attack, Mr Wilson’s brother, Jeffrey, 68, told the Mail on Sunday “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.”

A post-mortem examination concluded that Mr Wilson had died from septicaemia, but an inquest will be held in order to determine whether or not the attack was a contributory factor.

Doctors had previously informed him of the various risks involved with the invasive surgery, especially because of his age and because he had been fitted with a pacemaker earlier this year. The former engineer decided to go ahead with the operation anyway and had made plans to recuperate at home by his brother’s side.

Jeffrey went on to say: ‘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.’

It is as yet unclear whether the attack on Mr Wilson was a factor in his death; Jeffrey insists that his brother was strangled, but the investigation is ongoing.

Hillingdon Hospital NHS Foundation Trust claims the assault “took only seconds and amounted to him [the immigrant] putting an arm round Mr Wilson’s neck.”

A Metropolitan Police spokesman said they attended the hospital and that the death is being treated as non-suspicious.

A spokesman for the UK Border Agency confirmed that they are in the process of removing the Iranian man: “We are reviewing this incident and, if necessary, will take appropriate action.”

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