Edition 1479
16 June 2018
Edition: 1479

Read this week's issue online exactly as it appears in print.

Twitter

Portuguese man who died on Houses of Parliament doorstep had served sentence for child abuse

in News · 22-02-2018 14:04:00 · 0 Comments

A homeless man who died on the doorstep of the British Houses of Parliament was a Portuguese national who, according to reports, had worked as a model and had served time for child abuse.

Portuguese man who died on Houses of Parliament doorstep had served sentence for child abuse

The homeless Portuguese national’s death in the Westminster underground station last Wednesday triggered a wave of sympathy, culminating with Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn stating “it should never have happened” and that as a nation, the UK “must stop walking by.”
The politician wrote the words, which have since become symbolic of the case, on a card attached to a bunch of flowers he left at the scene.
The victim has been identified as 35-year-old Lisbon-born, Marcos Amaral Gourgel.
Labour MP David Lammy also described the incident as a “shocking sign” of the British government’s inability to solve the problem of homelessness, adding in his tribute on Twitter:
More recent figures suggest homelessness in the UK has risen by 73 percent since 2014.
“This is terrible and it should not have happened. Rough sleeping has increased every year since 2010 to record levels. This is a direct result of Government policy. In the sixth richest economy in the world this should be a source of shame for the Government.
The alarm was raised last Wednesday morning at 7.16am and emergency services were dispatched to the Westminster tube station, but attempts to revive the man were fruitless and he was pronounced dead at the scene.
It has been suggested he may have died from the cold after spending the night in freezing temperatures.
A spokesperson for London Mayor, Sadiq Khan, also said the Mayor was “profoundly saddened” by the death.
Westminster councillor for Adult Social Care, Rough Sleeping and Public Health, Rachael Robathan, said in a statement sent to Portugal’s Lusa News Agency, “often there are very complex reasons as to why people end up sleeping on the street. But whatever the background, these are people who need care and support.”
The borough of Westminster counts around 3,000 homeless sleeping on its streets every year, and the local council has a contact team that goes out every night in a bid to avoid vagrants spending more than two nights without a roof over their heads.
A local organisation said they had recently assisted Marcos Gourgel and that he had been looking for a job.
“He was a Portuguese national who had been in our emergency centre for some time and was being helped to find a job”, said Connection at St Martin’s, which added despite the man being in “a complex situation”, that he “liked to sing and regularly went to yoga classes.”
However, this week it has been claimed the former model was also a suspected child molester and had twice been deported from the UK.
The Guardian reported Portuguese government officials had confirmed Marcos Gourgel, “of Angolan origin, had been deported from the UK twice before in 2014 and 2016.”
Portuguese newspaper Correio da Manhã (CM) claimed the first deportation happened in 2014 after he served prison time for sexually abusing a child.
“After being deported, he was institutionalised in Lisbon but fled to return illegally to London, from where he was expelled again in 2016. He soon returned to England, again illegally, and lived the last year on the street with problems of ‘mental health, alcoholism and self-medication’”, the newspaper elaborated, basing its claims on information gleaned from various sources.
It further revealed Marcos was born in Lisbon but had dual Portuguese and Angolan nationality.
“The Portuguese consulate in London - where he was registered since 2008 - has still not been able to contact his family. His mother has died and his father, Angolan, is unreachable. The address, given by Marcos to the authorities, is in Angola, but authorities have not had any luck there either”, CM said.
The Ministry of Portuguese Communities Abroad told Portuguese daily Expresso: “In 2014 he was deported to Portugal by the British authorities and assisted on his return.
“In 2016 we were made aware he had been deported again from the UK for being in the country illegally.”

Comments

Be the first to comment on this article

Interactive Topics, send us your comments/opinion on this article.


Please enter the letters as they are
shown in the image.
Letters are not case-sensitive.
Edition 1479
16 June 2018
Edition: 1479

Read this week's issue online exactly as it appears in print.

Twitter