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Mum found dead in Glasgow flat next to starving baby

© PAIHMercy Baguma, who was found dead next to her baby son on Saturday in Glasgow.
Mercy Baguma, who was found dead next to her baby son on Saturday in Glasgow.

A mum has been found dead in a Glasgow flat beside her malnourished baby.

Mercy Baguma, from Uganda, was found dead in her flat in Govan area of Glasgow by Police on Saturday 22 August.

Friends raised the alarm after she was not heard from since Tuesday.

Her one-year-old son was found beside his mother’s body, weakened after several days of starvation.

The baby boy was rushed to hospital to be treated and was released yesterday. The child’s father is caring for him and lives elsewhere in the city.

It is understood Mercy, who was in her 30s, lost her job after her limited leave to remain expired and she was no longer allowed to work.

She was believed to have been living in extreme poverty, and relying on food from friends and charitable organisations.

Ms Baguma’s cause of death is as yet unknown and her family in Uganda have been informed.

Robina Qureshi, Director of Positive Action in Housing,  said: “This is the third tragedy to affect the city’s refugee population in as many months.

“Mercy contacted our charity on 11 August and said she was not getting any financial support yet and had made an application to MigrantHelp.

“Had she lived she would have been a high priority for a crisis payment from our Emergency Relief Fund like hundreds of others left functionally destitute by the asylum system.

“The question remains, why are mothers and babies being left to go hungry in this city, and why is it being left to charities and volunteers to pick up the pieces? Does society have anything to say other than call them a drain on society?

“The fact is there is no safety net if you are a refugee or migrant. You are left destitute and without resources, and people are being silenced and shamed by far right rhetoric for being forced to ask for help.

“Would this mother be alive if she was not forced out of her job by this cruel system that stops you from working and paying your way because a piece of paper says your leave to remain has expired?

“I’m sure Mercy’s son will want to ask this and other questions once he is old enough.”

The tragedy comes after  Syrian refugee, Adnan Walid Elbi, 30, was found dead in his room at the McLays Guest House on Renfrew Street in May, while another incident at Glasgow’s Park Inn Hotel saw one man shot dead after stabbing six people including a police officer in June. Other asylum seekers had cited concerns about the state of the man’s mental health.

Positive Action In Housing is demanding the Home Office carry out a public inquiry into the deaths and accommodation provided for asylum seekers.

You can provide support for the appeal for Mercy and her family here.