HC Deb 10 November 1977 vol 938 cc220-1W
Mr. Moonman

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will institute a full-scale inquiry into the circumstances of Tashi Thondup and his confinement in Pentonville Prison.

Mr. Merlyn Rees:

Tashi Thondup was admitted to this country as part of a group coming to the United Kingdom Pestalozzi Children's Village on the usual understanding that once trained or qualified here he would return to his own community to help them.

In the light of deteriorating performance and conduct, including convictions of a number of offences, it was thought best in the circumstances to give Mr. Thondup a short extension of stay in July 1976 to enable him to make arrangements to return to India. But he did not do so. In January 1977, following a further court appearance, Mr. Thondup was recommended for deportation by the Court. After an out of time application for leave to appeal had been refused I made a deportation order on 24th March 1977.

Various representations were, however, made to me on this case, including pleas that if Mr. Thondup were to be returned, arrangements should be made for him to leave this country under Section 90 of the Mental Health Act 1959 or under some similar arrangement. In the light of these representations and Mr. Thondup's disturbed condition, detailed inquiries were put in hand for his reception in India. These were necessarily protracted, but before they could be completed I concluded that in view of further changes in his medical condition it would be right to consider sympathetically revoking the deportation order and giving him leave to remain in the United Kingdom for a further period if satisfactory arrangements could be made for his care upon release from custody.

These have proved extremely difficult to make in this case, but I am glad to say that the Khan Tibet Centre has most kindly agreed to provide accommodation for Mr. Thondup. I am most grateful to it for this offer. The deportation order has been revoked: Mr. Thondup has been released from prison and given permission to remain in the United Kingdom for a further year.

I have been very much aware of this difficult case and do not consider an inquiry is necessary or justified.