[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Thursday, 22 June 2006, 13:13 GMT 14:13 UK
Race attack victim wants to die
Noel Martin
Noel Martin was attacked by racists in Germany in 1996
A man left paralysed after a racist attack in Germany says he is arranging for help to end his life.

Noel Martin, from Edgbaston, Birmingham, was employed as a construction worker when skinheads threw concrete through his windscreen.

The 46-year-old has almost no feeling or movement below the neck.

Mr Martin, who has been back to Germany to promote the fight against racism, said he wants to go to Switzerland to die on his 48th birthday next year.

He had been about to return to Birmingham in June 1996 having spent time in Mahlow as a construction worker when he was attacked.

Skinheads jailed

The two skinheads who targeted him were jailed for eight and five years.

Four years after the attack, Mr Martin married Jackie, his partner of 18 years, who by then was terminally ill with cancer.

He told BBC News they had made a suicide pact for the day of the wedding, but Jackie was rushed to hospital for treatment. Just before she died two days later, Jackie urged her husband not to end his own life.

"She asked everyone to look after me, and asked me to make her proud - that's what I've been doing," said Mr Martin.

Anti-racism rally

Mr Martin went back to Germany to attend an anti-racism rally in 2001, when the state of Brandenburg gave him a civic reception and formally apologised for the attack on him.

It's not suicide, it's moving on
Noel Martin

In 2005, he revisited Mahlow and encouraged teenagers from the virtually all-white town to sample Jamaican food and go to museums and churches for the black community.

Mr Martin is confident that there are people now ready to help with an assisted death.

"It's not suicide, it's moving on. I'll go to the clinic in Switzerland.

'Not living'

"I'm not living, I'm existing. My current health is very bad. I need two people here all the time, I can't have five minutes' privacy. I can't even feel when I'm hungry.

"God gave me free will to do what I want with my life. He didn't give the Prime Minister or a judge my life to live. If somebody else makes the choice for me, I'm not a man," said Mr Martin.

Despite his complete dependency on helpers, he insisted he was not depressed - but had fulfilled his promise to Jackie and wanted to die on his next birthday on 23 July 2007.

"I came in on that day - I'll go out on that day," he said.




SEE ALSO
Marching against racism
19 Sep 00 |  UK News



FEATURES, VIEWS, ANALYSIS
Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit

PRODUCTS & SERVICES

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific