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Thursday, 30 August, 2001, 10:05 GMT 11:05 UK
'Mr Nobody' loses UK visit fight
The Toronto skyline
Toronto, where Mr Staufen may have been mugged
A man with a Yorkshire accent who lost his memory after a suspected mugging in Canada has suffered a setback in his plan to visit the UK.

Philip Staufen has been unable to recall his identity since he was taken to a hospital in Toronto a year-and-a-half ago.

Linguistic experts believe he could be from the UK because he speaks with a slight Yorkshire accent.

But his efforts to obtain a passport so that he can travel to Yorkshire in search of his roots were dashed when an appeal court rejected his request for a Canadian birth certificate.

Philip Staufen
Mr Staufen: Speaks with a Yorkshire accent
Mr Staufen, who is in his 20s, was taken to hospital in Toronto in November 1999 after suffering head injuries and a broken nose.

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 managed to secure some welfare support after he was forced to live on the streets of Toronto.

Citizenship bid

Mr Staufen, who now lives in Vancouver, applied for Canadian citizenship so that he can get a passport and travel abroad in an attempt to discover his identity.

The British Columbia Court of Appeal said it sympathised with Mr Staufen but declined to overturn an earlier ruling that had said he was not entitled to a birth certificate.

In a statement Justice Mary Newbury said: "Unfortunately, it appears Mr Staufen has not adequately pursued the leads available to him."

Mr Staufen had argued his lack of a birth certificate had left him as little more than a prisoner in Canada because he was unable to find work and support himself because he could not prove who he was or where he was from.

See also:

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