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Rocco Galati, Lawyer for Philip Staufen
"He knows nothing about himself"
 real 28k

Monday, 11 June, 2001, 10:09 GMT 11:09 UK
Identity appeal for Mr Nobody
The Toronto skyline
The mystery man awoke in a Toronto hospital
A renewed appeal has been made to help identify a man, believed to be British, who is stuck in Canada suffering from amnesia.

The only clue to the man's past is that he speaks with a Yorkshire accent.

Philip Staufen
An appeal is being made to identify this man
He has been unable to recall his identity since he was taken to a Toronto hospital a year and a half ago with memory loss and a broken nose.

Canadian police believe the man suffered head trauma after being attacked.

No one has stepped forward yet to identify the man, who has become known as Philip Staufen and is believed to be in his 20s.

This is despite copies of his fingerprints and his photograph having been sent to English-speaking countries.

Passport application

Now Mr Staufen, who is living in Vancouver, is applying for Canadian citizenship so that he can get a passport and travel abroad in an attempt to discover his identity.


He is a non person. He doesn't exist. Most people in the 21st century take their identity for granted

Lawyer Rocco Galati

Linguists say he speaks with a Yorkshire accent but he also speaks fluent French and Italian.

His lawyer Rocco Galati told BBC Radio 4's Today programme: "He is a non person. He doesn't exist. Most people in the 21st century take their identity for granted.

"You have got to imagine what it must be like not to be unable to open a bank account or apply for medicare because you don't exist," he said.

Temporary citizenship

He has been offered a temporary 18 month citizenship permit - which does not allow him to leave the country - but lawyers are pushing for the courts to grant him a full new identity.

Mr Galati appealed to anyone who recognised the photograph to get in touch.

Suggestions on how to trace Mr Staufen's identity have been e-mailed to his lawyers' website.

Among the ideas are using dental records, checking the UK electoral roll and posting his photograph on youth hostel noticeboards.

The man woke up in a Toronto hospital in November 1999 after being unconscious for several days.

His hospital bracelet contained the details Philip Staufen, born 7 June, 1975.

But he said he did not recognise the name nor the date.

He was eventually diagnosed as suffering from post-concussion global amnesia.

His lawyers have managed to get him some welfare support after he was forced to live on the streets of Toronto.

Click here if you have any information that may help.

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See also:

02 Jun 01 | Americas
Canada puzzles over Mr Nobody
16 Mar 01 | Health
'We can control memory'
27 Apr 00 | A-B
Amnesia
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