Polish man faces deportation days after battle to save pal’s life

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A POLISH man suffering PTSD after battling in vain to save his friend from drowning is facing deportation just ten days after the tragic event.

 

inverness
Marek Michalak tragically died after being swept away by the River Ness. Pic: Julian Nitzsche/Wikicommons

 

Last Sunday, Marek Michalak was swept away by the River Ness after falling from the Grieg St Bridge in Inverness.

Kamil Luczak witnessed the tragic fall, and has told of how he grabbed his friend’s arm as he fell – but was not strong enough to stop him disappearing into the surging water below.

Mr Michalak’s fall triggered a full-scale emergency search from the coast guard – but a body has yet to be found.

Now – just days later – Mr Luczak faces deportation to his native Poland.

But his support worker and legal advisor has claimed that he is suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder after the shocking tragedy – and deporting him would breach his human rights.

At present it is believed that Mr Luczak is being held in custody in Glasgow – awaiting a first-tier immigration tribunal.

Support worker Aldona Fryc-Danielewska says she worked with both Luczak and Michalak at the Polish Support Group Inverness. She also runs a firm which provides legal advice to Poles in Scotland.

Speaking about Mr Luczak she said: “He wasn’t drunk but he was in a silly mood. He jumped on the bridge and was swinging on it.

Regarding the accident, she said: “He wasn’t strong enough, (Mr Michalak) just fell. He was holding his hand when he fell.

“He was trying to save him but unsuccessfully.

“He had a nervous breakdown, a day before he was detained, and started drinking again. He suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder.

“He needs to be hospitalised in a psychiatric hospital – not deported. He’s not eating, cannot sleep as he keeps thinking about the accident.

Mrs Fryc-Danielewska is now in contact with the Polish Consulate in Edinburgh.

 

Lawyer

 

She went on: “I am a lawyer myself and think there is a serious breach of human rights in this case.

“He should be hospitalised, not sent back to Poland. He will not be insured in Poland, we will be homeless and mentally incapable.”

It is believed that the drive to deport Mr Luczak – who had been homeless – came after some “disruptive” behaviour, a failure to appear in court last month and some “irregular” payment of fines.

Mr Michalak has not been formally identified by authorities as the man who disappeared into the Ness on January 31.

But tributes have been pouring in on his Facebook page, with friends calling him a “good man”, saying he “fell into the river, and was not able to get out.”

And Alison Spriggs – another volunteer with the Polish Support Group Inverness – says she was with Mr Michalak on the night and confirmed he is the missing man.

A Home Office spokesman said: “We do not routinely comment on individual cases.”

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