Page last updated at 14:47 GMT, Thursday, 18 March 2010

Agency 'ignored suicide family'

Red Road flats, Glasgow
Several protests have taken place at the flats since the Serykh family died

A charity has accused the UK Border Agency of ignoring warnings about a family of asylum seekers who apparently jumped to their deaths in Glasgow.

Positive Action in Housing makes the claim in a letter to the Lord Advocate, calling for a fatal accident inquiry.

Serguei Serykh, 43, his wife Tatiana and Mr Serykh's stepson, Stepan, 19, died after falling 15 floors at the Red Road flats in Springburn on 7 March.

The UKBA said no imminent action to remove the family had been planned.

However, their application to remain in the UK had recently been refused.

The BBC understands the Russian family had previously been granted asylum in Canada but left after a dispute with the authorities there.

They first arrived in the UK in 2007 and had been living at the tower block at 63 Petershill Drive, which is currently let to the YMCA, since 2 February this year.

Their application to remain in the UK had recently been refused and they had been told that they had to leave their flat in Springburn.

The family had not, however, been issued with a removal order.

Robina Qureshi, director of Positive Action in Housing
Robina Qureshi has asked for a fatal accident inquiry to be held

According to a source familiar with the case, the family were advised to seek help from the Scottish Refugee Council to find alternative accommodation.

They are believed to have jumped to their deaths shortly before 0845 GMT on 7 March.

In the letter to Lord Advocate Elish Angiolini, Positive Action in Housing Director Robina Qureshi states that it was in "the public interest" for a fatal accident inquiry to be held.

She said the charity believed the Sehryk family would still be alive if it had not been mistreated by the UK asylum system.

She outlines "a number of issues of concern" including "documentary evidence that the UK Border Agency (UKBA) was fully aware of the family's fear of being killed and of being prepared to kill themselves".

No UK Border Agency officers were in the vicinity when these events took place
UKBA spokesman

The letter stated: "We possess evidence which shows clearly that the UK Borders Agency knew of the family's psychological issues and that they were a danger to themselves, and possibly to others.

"Despite all these factors, the UKBA did nothing to support the family. Indeed, we would contend that their actions only served to exacerbate the family's sense of fear, isolation and hopelessness about their situation."

A spokesman for the UKBA said: "Any death of this kind is a tragedy, and our deepest sympathies are with their family and friends at this time.

"We had advised the family that we were making arrangements to return them to Canada where they had been granted protection. However, no imminent action to remove them from the UK had been planned.

"No UK Border Agency officers were in the vicinity when these events took place.

"We will continue to work with Strathclyde Police while this incident is under investigation."



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