HOPES have been raised for Enfield hacker Gary McKinnon after new evidence of long-term mental health problems was made public.

The 45-year-old's mother Janis Sharp wrote to all Lords and MPs revealing that Mr McKinnon first showed signs of mental deterioration 28 years ago.

She wrote: “On the tenth of February 1983, we were compelled to take my son, Gary McKinnon, to see a neurologist on Gary’s 17th birthday, because of our grave concerns regarding the sudden deterioration in Gary’s mental health and the loss of his intellectual faculties, leading us to fear that Gary may have a brain tumour.”

US officials have requested that the UK extradites Mr McKinnon, who faces charges of hacking into secure Government databases and allegedly causing thousands of pounds worth of damage.

He suffers from Asperger's Syndrome, and campaigners have long argued he should not be extradited as it would be a breach of his human rights.

Ms Sharp also made the decision to go public with a painful history of mental health problems in her family, hoping to rebut claims Mr McKinnon's mental health problems are recent and a convenient excuse for his actions.

The House of Lords has scheduled a debate on Mr McKinnon's future for today, in response to Ms Sharp's letter and appeal for help.

She also revealed expert analysis from Professor Declan Murphy, who concluded that Mr McKinnon “now has a fixed autistic like idea which is currently unshakeable that his best outcome is to take his own life”.

The case currently rests in Home Secretary Theresa May's hands, after she stayed the extradition process on taking the job to renew the evidence.

She has appointed two fresh medical experts to assess the case, although campaigners are disappointed they are not experts in Asperger's.

David Burrowes, MP for Enfield Southgate, who has taken up Mr McKinnon's cause, said: “I am writing again to the Home Secretary to ask for an appropriate expert assessment to ensure she has the full facts at her disposal when making the decision about his medical condition and the impact of extradition."