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Casshew
01-19-2004, 09:43 AM
POLICE PROBE HAWKING 'ASSAULT'
Children fear Hawking is victim of serial attacker

By Rosa Prince

STEPHEN Hawking's family are "worried sick" he has again been the victim of a series of mystery assaults.

Last night the 62-year-old scientist was under surveillance in Addenbrookes hospital where he is being treated for an unrelated bout of pneumonia.

Staff were ordered to watch him following talks with the family.

Hawking's three children, and nurses who have cared him, fear he may be the victim of controversial Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy in which sufferers harm others to draw attention to themselves.

A police investigation, the second in four years, has been launched into the disturbing claims.

Detectives - who want to speak to Hawking's wife Elaine, 53 - are waiting for him to recover in the critical care unit before interviewing him.

A source said yesterday: "The family are worried sick. They've been suspicious for some time someone has been harming Stephen.

"The children are desperate to stop it, but don't know what to do because he refuses to admit it.

"Stephen is famously one of the most intelligent men in the country, so he must know what's going on."

Millionaire Hawking - author of the best selling A Brief History of Time - is paralysed by motor neurone disease, needs round the clock care and speaks with a computerised voice box.

The latest inquiry was triggered when nursing staff contacted police last summer after the professor was left stranded in his wheelchair in the garden of his Cambridge home on the hottest day of the year. He suffered severe heatstroke and sunburn.

One nurse said he was subjected to a form of "torture".

Most of the fresh injuries he has suffered were knocks and bruises which did not require hospital care. But the professor's children - Robert, 37, Lucy, 31, and Tim, 24 - share the nurses' worries.

In 2000, family and medical staff contacted police with similar allegations of mystery injuries.

Detectives discovered Hawking had regularly attended Addenbrookes' A&E department with unexplained injuries including a broken wrist, gashes to the face and a cut lip.

Story from the Mirror.uk (http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/allnews/content_objectid=13832645_method=full_siteid=50143 _headline=-POLICE%2DPROBE%2DHAWKING%2D%2DASSAULT%2D-name_page.html)