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Veteran with PTSD who served in Afghanistan faces deportation to Jamaica

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A former Commonwealth soldier with post-traumatic stress disorder says he feels “let down by the system” as he faces deportation.

Twane Morgan joined the British Army in 2004, and completed two tours of Afghanistan before being discharged with PTSD.

He now faces being deported to Jamaica, after serving a three-year prison term for stabbing his ex-partner’s father who attacked him with a hammer while the pair were drinking.

Mr Morgan, 36, who has five British children and a British partner, told Sky News that he “got no help at all” after being discharged from the army.

As he struggled to adjust to society his mental health declined.

He was diagnosed with bipolar disorder and hospitalised three times, on one occasion for more than six months

Mr Morgan's son is now 13
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Mr Morgan says his son, 13, will not be able to see him if he is deported

“It was a really hard time when I left. I was getting flashbacks, I couldn’t sleep, getting angry all the time about what the system has done to me,” he told Sky News.

“That feeling, I don’t know how to explain it. I feel let down because I served in the army I put my life on the line.”

Mr Morgan’s sister Tenisha Morgan told Sky News her brother “became a different person” after serving in Afghanistan, and was “left a shell” after seeing a friend killed in front of him.

“He was just left to go back into the community, left to fend on his own,” she said. “He came back and didn’t know how to get back to society.”

After years of appealing the decision to deport him – during which Mr Morgan was held in a detention centre for several months – she has launched a petition in the hope that public support could help him stay in Britain.

Mr Morgan arrived in the UK in 2003 and joined the army a year later
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Mr Morgan arrived in the UK in 2003 and joined the army a year later

Under government policy, any foreign national who has served more than one year in prison is automatically liable for deportation, which is seen to be in the public interest.

While there are some circumstances – such as children in the UK – that may overrule the decision, exceptions are rare, especially if a sentence is more than four years. Mr Morgan was sentenced to six.

His family say that Mr Morgan, who has lived in the UK since 2003, knows no-one in Jamaica. They fear his mental health will dramatically decline if he is removed from his support networks and family in the UK.

“If I go back I would have nowhere to live,” Mr Morgan said. “It would mean all communication would be locked off, I wouldn’t be able to see my kids and my partner.

“My son is 13. He understands that I’m facing deportation and he can’t cope, because he understands that when I go he won’t be able to see me.”

During his appeals process, lawyers argued had he not developed PTSD Mr Morgan would have served five years in the military and been eligible for UK citizenship.

When he left the army with trauma, however, he did not know about the need to regularise his immigration papers, leaving him without status and now deemed an overstayer.

“Had he known, he would have applied for citizenship,” Rachel Okello, Mr Morgan’s lawyer, told Sky News. “But he left the army a traumatised person and didn’t know what his status was.”

Twane has five children who are all British
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Mr Morgan has five children who are all British

Ms Okello believes the law should be changed so Commonwealth soldiers who are discharged on medical or mental grounds should be exempt from deportation and allowed full citizenship, as if they had served the full term.

“Deportation is not supposed to be an extra punishment.

“People are deported after a prison sentence because it is deemed to be in the public interest.” Ms Okello said.

“We would like to show it is not in the public interest to deport someone who has served in the military.”

Commenting on Mr Morgan’s case, the Home Office reiterated its policy of deporting people who had been sentenced to jail terms in the UK.

“Foreign nationals who abuse our hospitality by committing crimes in the UK should be in no doubt of our determination to deport them,” a spokesperson said.

“We have removed nearly 45,800 foreign offenders since 2010.”

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