Windrush child 'living in limbo' over Home Office compensation claim

A Windrush child who has lived in West Yorkshire for more than 50 years said he continues to "live in limbo" as he waits to hear if his claim for compensation from the government will be approved.

By Mark Lavery
Monday, 30th December 2019, 6:00 am
Updated Monday, 30th December 2019, 2:47 pm

Lorenzo Hoyte, 63, who has had to live in the shadows for fear of being deported, said his life remains on hold despite finally being granted a UK passport last September.

He submitted a claim for compensation to the Home Office in April for hurt feelings, anxiety, depression, not being able to leave the country and loss of earnings.

Mr Hoyte said: "Basically, everything you have missed out on being an illegal immigrant.

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Lorenzo Hoyte

"We are in limbo and we can't fully move on because we don't know if they are going to offer us £20, £2,000 or £200,000.

"A lot of Windrush people who have put in claims have died while waiting."

Mr Hoyte, of Wakefield, was born in Barbados and came to Leeds as a ten-year old and was brought up in the Beeston area of the city.

He has worked as a welder all his life but has had to work on temporary contracts and has been unable to get a mortgage.

The grandfather-of-six could not attend his mother or another brother’s funerals abroad because he was previously not classed as a British citizen.

And he was unable to travel to the Moscow Olympics in 1980 or the Los Angeles Games in 1984 to see his sister Josyln Hoyte-Smith compete for Great Britain in the women’s 4x400m relay.

Mr Hoyte's father Belfield Hoyte, 96, has lived in Toronto in Canada since the late 1980s.

Mr Hoyte, who works as a welder at Wakefield Acoustics in Heckmondwike, said: "Just giving us the passport hasn’t changed anything.

"I'm trying to save enough money to go and see my dad, that's all I want to do.

"I go to bed every single night just hoping that I save up enough money in time to go and see my dad before he passes away."

Mr Hoyte also a brother Luther and sister Dolores - both aged in their seventies - living in Canada.

He wants to travel to Canada with his wife Janine, 53 , and children Khonner, 21, and Tannia, 25.

He said: "My dad has never met my children and it is something that I would dearly like to happen before he dies.

"I just want him to see how they have turned out. I want him see the pride I have in my children. I haven't seen him in more than 40 years."

Mr Hoyte said he was unable to get a mortgage from a building society in 2005 when he had the opportunity to buy his rented Wakefield and District Housing house his family have lived in since 2000 because he wasn't classed as a British citizen

He said: "I tried to buy my house and I was knocked back for that. I was gobsmacked when they told me no passport, no mortgage.

"I'm still in a house that I could have fully paid for by now and I'm still paying rent for it.

"Me and my wife and kids have made it into a beautiful home but unfortunately it's not ours.

"We should be coming up to retirement and for the first time in our lives we can get full time work and mortgages, but it’s too late. I'm supposed to retire in four or five years.

"It is too late for all of us at that age. No one is going to give me a mortgage at 63."

A Home Office spokeswoman, said: "Mr Hoyte’s Windrush compensation application is being processed."