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Tuesday, February 15, 2011


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ROCK legend David Gilmour is paying the psychiatric care bills of computer hacker Gary McKinnon who is fighting extradition to the US.
Treatment paid for by a north London primary care trust stopped last month because of NHS cutbacks. 
But the Pink Floyd guitarist, who supports mental health campaigns, has stepped in to pay for the sessions with Asperger’s syndrome expert Professor Jeremy Turk.
Mr McKinnon, 45, is about to enter his ninth year of fighting US attempts to jail him for up to 60 years.
He admits hacking into Pentagon and Nasa computers in 2001 and 2002 for information on UFOs.
But the US government says he posed a serious risk to national defence and want him to stand trial.
His mother, Janis, said: “When I heard about the funding for Gary’s psychiatrist suddenly being refused I was incredibly worried.
“What will happen to other people with psychiatric problems if their funding is cut off?
“David and his wife Polly and Polly’s brother Joe are really good people. They never publicise the good things they do behind the scenes. They just do it and we’re so grateful for that.”
While the legal battle continues, Janis has disclosed confidential medical information which suggests Gary showed signs of mental disorder as a teenager.
A history of mental illness in the family will be used to argue that he should not go on trial in America.
Mr McKinnon’s great-grandmother, Christina Macleod, was committed to a mental hospital in Scotland, where she remained for more than 50 years up until her death aged 95. His grandmother, Margaret Totten, who died in 1999, suffered from depression and was treated for schizophrenia. Patients with Asperger’s or autism have been wrongly diagnosed as having schizophrenia.
Mrs McKinnon said: “This proves that mental illness in Gary’s family goes back generations and that Gary had existing mental health difficulties.”
Professor Turk and another expert, Professor Declan Murphy, have both said that suicide would be an inevitability were Gary to be extradited.


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