Nepali boy faces a life alone as `father' goes to France

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The Independent Online
The businessman who successfully battled for seven years to keep a Nepalese boy in Britain is leaving the country.

Richard Morley has been struck by tuberculosis and is to stay with a friend in a luxury villa in Saint Tropez until he recovers.

Mr Morley, 43, is having to sell his castle in the Forest of Dean and has no plans as yet to buy another home for Jayaram Khadka, the son of a man who saved his life in Nepal, who will stay behind in Britain.

Consequently, the future of Jay is "up in the air", as he faces the prospect of living in hotels more than 600 miles away from Mr Morley, whom he now calls "father".

Jay, 20, said: "We have no fixed plans. Life is unpredictable. We have been thrown into mayhem because of my father's illness."

Mr Morley, who was diagnosed with TB four weeks ago, said he will fly to France as soon as he feels well enough to travel.

He said: "We are having a family conference to decide what to do with Jay. Jay is a British resident, not a citizen, so he can't live in France like I can. He has a big problem.

"He has been denied an education and so he's completely unemployable. He can either become a dustman or stay at home for the rest of his life. The latter is the preferred option.

"He will stay here but also has plans to visit Nepal to set up charity projects in Kathmandu."

Mr Morley brought Jay to Britain after the Nepalese boy's father died. He owed Jay's father a debt of honour for saving his life after an accident in the Himalayas. But when he arrived, the previous government threatened Jay with deportation. Mr Morley embarked on a seven- year battle to obtain permission for Jay to stay.

In May, the new Home Secretary, Jack Straw, reversed the decision and granted him residency.

But days later, Mr Morley collapsed and was later diagnosed as having TB. Ironically, he will now be staying in a different country from the man whom he fought to keep in Britain with him. He is selling Clearwell Castle, his family's home for the last three years, because of financial difficulties incurred during the fight. He said: "Our savings have been worn out. We're financially rotted up.

"I'm feeling very ill and just want to recover. The overcast skies and threat of rain are no good - I need a Mediterranean climate.

"My TB prevents me from living in Britain and Nepal and Jay can't live anywhere else."

Mr Morley declined to name the person with whom he was going to stay, but said he was "a celebrity".

Dr Peter Davies, director of TB research at the Cardiothoracic Centre at Broadgreen Hospital, in Liverpool, said moving abroad was not necessarily the answer: "There are three drugs for sufferers that will cure TB; being in a hot climate is irrelevant.

"Sufferers have a chronic cough but this is caused by bugs chewing your lungs up, not the damp weather..."

Mr Morley is head of his "molecular" family, consisting of six men and two women, ranging from the ages of 19 to 43.

Mr Morley, who is unmarried, began his social experiment in 1982. He believes that it is important to enjoy close and lasting relationships with others and argues that theincreasing destructionof traditional families means that an alternative should be sought.

The members of Mr Morley's family have not formalised their plans for the future. Mr Morley said: "We live very much as a family but I don't know what we are going to do. We think people need families. We are not a bunch of geriatrics living together - we have young members who will eventually take care of the older ones.

"The traditional system doesn't work a lot of the time. I watched with great interest the television programme Should homosexuals have equal rights with heterosexuals? presented by John Humphrys. I know we've offended a large number of traditionalists but we think society will change - we have to look at different ways of living together. "