THE FAMILY of deaf charity worker Ian Stillman is planning to fly to India as fears for his health worsen.

Ian, 51, is spending his third year in jail after being convicted of cannabis possession - a charge he has always denied.

Ian, whose parents live in Tadcaster Road, York, is diabetic and has only one leg following a road accident.

His sister Elspeth Dugdale said: "The doctor seems to think he is in a reasonably stable and satisfactory condition, which is a relief, but we may try and get a second opinion to be on the safe side.

"Recent visitors to Ian have noticed an increased loss of weight as he does not seem to be eating properly. After a family conference, we have decided that a few of us should go out to see Ian and find out what is going on."

The family recently arranged for a diabetes expert to visit Ian to discover the state of his health.

They are waiting for his report to be completed.

Ian, a father of two who moved to India nearly 30 years ago to work with the country's deaf, was denied a sign language translator at his trial, effectively excluding him from taking part.

The Evening Press began to campaign for his release after a leading human rights lawyer called it the worst miscarriage of justice he had dealt with.

His family is currently waiting for the result of an application for a presidential pardon.

Updated: 13:10 Tuesday, November 12, 2002