NEWS
27/05/2018 12:14 BST | Updated 27/05/2018 12:20 BST

Fears For Safety Of Young Orphan, 10, If He Is Deported

'He has no mother and no father and the best thing for him is to stay in Glasgow.'

Church of Scotland/Handout
Ketino Baikhadze with her grandson Giorgi.

An orphaned 10-year-old boy would be put in danger if he is deported to the country of his birth, his grandmother has claimed.

Ketino Baikhadze said she fears her grandson Giorgi would be under threat in Georgia, where he was born.

Giorgi’s mother, Mrs Baikhadze’s daughter Sopio, fled to Scotland seven years ago, after her late husband allegedly owed money to gangsters.

Sopio, known as Sophie, was awaiting the outcome of an appeal for asylum in the UK when she died in February after a long illness.

Mrs Baikhadze, who is being supported by Church of Scotland ministers, said: “Sophie was an intelligent girl but had a hard life in Georgia.

“She came to Scotland to escape gangsters that her husband owed money to who threatened Giorgi’s life. 

“She hoped to build a good life in Glasgow but she fell ill and after many months died at her home.”

Mrs Baikhadze said her daughter was a “very kind and warm person” who adored her son.

“She was a perfect daughter who was my everything,” she added.

“But she has gone, my heart is broken and I cannot leave Giorgi alone.

“He is such a good boy and I am living for him now.

“He has no mother and no father and the best thing for him is to stay in Glasgow.” 

She said her grandson was very happy in the city.

“Giorgi doesn’t understand a word of the Georgian language,” she added.

“He only speaks English and has grown up in Glasgow where all his friends are so it would be very hard for him to go there.

“Sometimes I use Georgian words and I ask him ‘why don’t you understand?’ and he says [no] ’because I am Scottish.”

Solicitor Andrew Bradley is representing the Baikhadze family.

He said: “It is difficult to imagine what Giorgi is going through.

“For many people, the grieving process takes months or years.

“While trying to recover from the loss of his mum, his future hangs in the balance.

“He faces the possibility of being taken away from his home and friends in Scotland to what must now be a strange country.

“If the Home Office saw fit to make a decision in his favour, it would no doubt be a huge weight off his mind.”

It comes as the Sunday Mail reported that a student nurse who served in the Scottish Youth Parliament and carried the Commonwealth Games baton in the lead up to Glasgow 2014 is also facing deportation.

Denzel Darku, who moved to the UK from Ghana nine years ago as a 14-year-old, is fighting to stay in Scotland having seen two appeals rejected.

A Home Office spokesperson said: “The UK has a proud history of granting asylum to those who need our protection and every case is assessed on its individual merits.”