A 91-YEAR-OLD woman who wants to spend the remainder of her life with her only daughter in the UK is facing deportation.

Members of St. Joseph’s Church in Poole, attended by Myrtle Cothill, are petitioning their local MP to prevent the South African from being sent back to her country.

Mrs Cothill’s application to stay in the UK was refused by the Home Office last September, and a decision was taken at the same time to remove her. She appealed against the decision earlier this year but her appeal was dismissed in March.

Her daughter, Mary Wills, became a British citizen in 1998 and wants to look after her widowed mother, who is also suffering from chronic lung and eye conditions.

“It was becoming unaffordable for my mum to live in South Africa because medical aid is very expensive, and she was even on the low band.

“My husband and I asked her to come live with us here in England, especially when she was diagnosed with Macular Degeneration and COPD.

“My mother had hardly any money to pay her rent or buy healthy food and she was deteriorating in health.”

She continued: “I want to know why she can’t stay, with human rights, to live with me? She’s not going to bring any harm to England. She’s self-supporting; she gets a widow’s pension from my late dad of £300 a month.

“She can afford to take out a private medical aid, as well, because they’re not that expensive here apparently. So she will not be costing England a penny. She will just be living out her last days with me.”

Mrs Cothill said: “I always wanted to be close to my daughter, so to go now would mean I could not spend the rest of my life with her.”

She added: “I feel they have no compassion at all. I’ve got nobody else. A mother and daughter should stay together if they need each other.”

The church’s assistant priest, Ralph Candy, said: “We’re very concerned, from a humanitarian point of view, that Myrtle could face deportation and be alone without any physical, spiritual or family back up. It seems very heartless."

Mr Robert Syms MP said Mrs Cothill’s application “could have been handled better”, and she should have returned to South Africa to apply for settlement in the UK.

He added: “However, I have written to the Immigration Minister to ask if he will, on compassionate grounds, grant her leave to remain in the country.”