Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 24°C

min temp: 16°C

Search

Ipswich: Paul Mason devastated by US visa decision which sees skin removal operation put on hold

17:56 02 April 2014

Paul Mason of Ipswich. Photograph by Paul Nixon Photography.

Paul Mason of Ipswich. Photograph by Paul Nixon Photography.

www.paulnixonphotography.co.uk

The man once dubbed Britain’s fattest has revealed his devastation when told that he couldn’t go ahead with his skin removal operation in the US because immigration officials there were concerned about his criminal record.

Ipswich’s Paul Mason, 53, had applied for a medical visa in order to have an operation in New York to remove excess skin which has been left following his dramatic weight loss.

The visa is a legal obligation for anybody who intends to stay in the USA for more than 90 days, and one of the questions in the application process is whether the subject has any previous convictions.

Mr Mason, who once weighed in at 70 stone, declared his previous convictions for fraud which arose during the depths of his binge eating in 1989, when he had falsified accounts at the Royal Mail in order to steal money to fund his habit.

“It was why I left Royal Mail, I was in debt through my eating disorder and I was falsifying accounts that I was dealing with,” said Mr Mason.

“I knew I would get caught eventually and I wanted to actually because I wanted help. I knew I was going to go to prison and I got a criminal record and I knew that was going to be the end of my career at Royal Mail but I thought at least I might get some help, in the end that wasn’t forthcoming.”

Mr Mason spent 12 months in Norwich prison as a result of the convictions, but hoped that the episode had been put to bed until he applied for his US visa.

“I went for the visa interview in early March and they turned around and said sorry, the application, because of your criminal record, has to go away to Inland Security in Washington and has to be authorised by them,” he said.

“That was so disappointing because the operation was planned for this month and my surgeon in New York was making arrangements. It’s such a kick in the teeth.

“They’ve also told me that instead of granting a visa for 10 years they’ll only grant it for 12 months at a time.”

Mr Mason won’t find out until August or September if his visa application has been successful and everything has been put on hold until then, including his marriage to his American love Rebecca Mountain.

“She can’t afford to come over again soon and is busy with her business,” he said. “My health is getting worse really because the excess skin now is causing problems with my bladder because of the weight on my tummy.”

Mr Mason described the decision as “unfair” and said: “It’s not as if I have had a major ongoing criminal record since then and I could understand it if I was a member of a terrorist group or had ongoing issues with drug dealing that would cause issues in America. It’s really unfair.”

However the love-stricken Mason still intends to get married and help Rebecca with her cat-furniture business.

17 comments

  • On a serious note, do we REALLY have to be subjected to photos like this???

    Report this comment

    Robotix

    Wednesday, April 2, 2014

  • Come on Archant, this photo should not be shown until after the 9pm watershed. Horrible!

    Report this comment

    how'd the town do

    Wednesday, April 2, 2014

  • the excess skin might come in handy for the furniture making.

    Report this comment

    TERENCE MANNING

    Wednesday, April 2, 2014

  • Good old boy..

    Report this comment

    Ron Raga

    Wednesday, April 2, 2014

  • On a serious note, do we REALLY have to be subjected to photos like this???

    Report this comment

    Robotix

    Wednesday, April 2, 2014

  • I'm really sorry but I have no sympathy at all. Commit crime, suffer consequences.

    Report this comment

    Sentinel Red

    Friday, April 4, 2014

  • Someone's got a mountain to climb....

    Report this comment

    Robotix

    Wednesday, April 2, 2014

  • I do not know Mr Mason and I have none of the animosity towards him which many show here BUT I am very pleased that the United States sticks to its rules to prevent criminals entering its country. Mr Mason IS a criminal and he has no reason to complain; crime has its repercussions and those repercussions may last a long time (even for a lifetime) and so if you don't want the repercussions then don't do the crime! Simples. A pity the UK cannot be so strict about importing criminals as we seem to be bringing them in by the thousands.

    Report this comment

    Johnthebap

    Wednesday, April 2, 2014

  • Great one C Smith -- He really is an all round nice chap isn't he...

    Report this comment

    a west

    Wednesday, April 2, 2014

  • is this news........ usual rubbish about this person.

    Report this comment

    rumbler

    Wednesday, April 2, 2014

  • Don't talk about terrorism, don't talk about terrorism, don't talk about terrorism.. Ah man, you just did! Didn't realise he was a criminal, ouch

    Report this comment

    IpswichResident

    Thursday, April 3, 2014

  • Uummmm, surgeon in New York?? Like where's the money coming from???

    Report this comment

    dahlia

    Wednesday, April 2, 2014

  • Perhaps he will stop moaning about the NHS now even though he cost them a fortune. Have a kebab on me.

    Report this comment

    Drew Peacock

    Wednesday, April 2, 2014

  • the excess skin might come in handy for the furniture making.

    Report this comment

    TERENCE MANNING

    Wednesday, April 2, 2014

  • We should have laws like the USA here in Blighty so as to keep out all the scum that worm there way to these shores. Mr Mason you are a Criminal so why the whinging.

    Report this comment

    a west

    Wednesday, April 2, 2014

  • Unlike us the USA is fussy who they let in ,good on them .

    Report this comment

    pandy

    Wednesday, April 2, 2014

  • He really is an all round nice chap isn't he...

    Report this comment

    C Smith

    Wednesday, April 2, 2014

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

Binge-drinker's night out ban

A binge-drinking plasterer has been banned from going out on Fridays and Saturdays after assaulting a police officer while being drunk and disorderly.

South East Suffolk Magistrates' Court

A Felixstowe bricklayer told magistrates he was ashamed after swearing at police while drunk and telling them taking him to court would be a waste of time.

Readers have shared their Pigs Gone Wild selfies and family photos as the trail reaches its final few days in Ipswich

We will miss them when they are gone but there are still seven days left to see the pigs in situ around Ipswich town centre.

Ipswich Crown Court

A dishonest Ipswich man who was caught by police after his DNA was found at the scene of two break-ins and a theft has been jailed for 20 months.

East Anglian Air Ambulance

A motorcyclist has been injured in a crash which blocked a road on the Suffolk/Norfolk border today.

And indicative perspective of what a new retirement homes on the 30 Lower Brook Street site, might look like.
Development plans are going out for consultation.
The site is currently Archant's newspaper offices.

A public exhibition will give local residents Ipswich residents the opportunity to view and comment on McCarthy and Stone’s preliminary proposals to redevelop land between Lower Brook Street and Turret Lane.

Police are appealing for witnesses

Suffolk Police are searching for a woman who has gone missing from Ipswich.

File picture of Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service fire engines.

Fire crews have been called to help a young pony that has become trapped in a ditch in Palgrave, on the Suffolk and Norfolk border.

The Red Arrows were able to complete a shortened display at the Clacton Airshow.

For almost everyone it was the perfect summer day on the beach – blue skies immediately above, temperatures in the high 20s, warm sea water.

Liverpool Street station

London’s Liverpool Street train station has been evacuated following reports of a suspicious package.

Most read

Most commented

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Topic pages

Streetlife

Newsletter Sign Up

MyDate24 MyPhotos24

to top arrow

Back to top