UK Home Office to deport paralysed man’s wife of 32 years back to Zimbabwe

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A British citizen paralysed from the neck down faces life in Scotland without his wife of 32 years after a Home Office ruling.

David Connolly’s wife Carin has been told she must return to her native Zimbabwe.

She is David’s full-time carer as well as his partner and he cannot imagine how he would cope without her.

But he now faces having to chose between staying in Scotland without Carin – or moving to Zimbabwe with her, where they have no home or access to medical care.

David, 57, said: “It is absolutely devastating. How can the Home Office be so cold and so cruel?”

Carin, 59, added: “After 32 years of marriage, this is what they do to us. It is cold. The Home Office are showing our life together means nothing.

David Connolly pictured with work colleagues in 2005

“What’s the world coming to when this situation can be allowed to happen? I know if I go back there, I’m not coming back.”

David and Carin live with their son, an oil and gas worker, in Inverurie, Aberdeenshire.

Carin has been her husband’s carer since he was disabled in a car accident in 1984.

He relies on her to help him cope with day-to-day living and complex health needs.

In a heartbreaking letter, David wrote: “I have been unwell the past six months and confined to bed.

“I have been admitted to hospital several times – blood transfusion, colonoscopy, gastroscopy – and have had daily wound dressings at home by district nurses since January.

“If this were to happen to me in Zimbabwe, then it could have been extremely serious indeed. I cannot go back.

“My wife has been the bedrock of my life. I would be utterly devastated if she could not provide this.

“Spouses are not meant to be separated. To seek to separate us is cruel and inhumane.”

David’s dad Alexander was born in Cheltenham, Essex and served in the RAF. He moved to South Africa, married and put down roots. The family moved to what was then colonial Rhodesia and built up a vehicle repair business.

Paralysed David Connolly is faced with living alone or joining wife Carin in Zimbabwe with no medical care

David was born in Zimbabwe and qualifies for British citizenship through his dad.

He went to technical college and began a successful career in mining, meeting Carin in 1982.

They married in 19896 and moved to Botswana for work, while the collapsing economy of Zimbabwe wiped out their pensions and savings.

The couple settled in Scotland just over a year ago.

Neither David nor Carin, who takes medication for high blood pressure, have been in Zimbabwe for 10 years.

Their immigration lawyer believed the case for Carin to get a spousal visa to live in the UK was cast iron. But the couple fell victim to the Tories’ “hostile environment” for immigration.

David and Carin have now enlisted the support of their local SNP MSP, Gillian Martin to help fight their case.

The Aberdeenshire East MSP said: “I will do everything I can to support Mr and Mrs Connolly to overturn this frankly disgraceful and distressing decision made by the Home Office to rip a family apart.

David Connolly, who is paralysed from the neck down, pictured with wife Carin and son Marcus in 2011

“Time and time again, the Home Office make these sort of rubber-stamp decisions rather than looking at the issue on a case-by-base basis.

“Mr Connolly is a British citizen and has been married to his partner for more than 30 years.

“Not only is Mrs Connolly his wife but she is his permanent carer looking after him day in and day out, providing him both physical and emotional support.

Carin is due to appeal against the Home Office decision at a tribunal in Glasgow next month.
A Home Office spokesman said: “Mrs Connolly’s case is subject to an ongoing appeal and it would therefore be inappropriate to comment.”
– DailyReport

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