Extradition Appeal success reunites mother and children
Extradition Appeal victory for JFH Crime
Our team have been successful in an extradition appeal against the decision to extradite a 30-year-old woman to Lithuania. She was wanted to serve an 18-month prison sentence for fraud and to stand trial for other similar offences.
Our client is the mother of two young children. The children had been cared for by their grandmother since her remand in custody almost a year ago. She and her ex-partner entered the UK using false identity documents and she was convicted of those offences in this country. Although she was born in the Soviet Union, she had never regularised her immigration status in independent Lithuania; she faced insurmountable obstacles in establishing her right to citizenship of that country, hence the assumed identity.
Her ex-partner, who has previously been convicted of murder in Lithuania, has now been removed from the UK. He is facing a further potential murder charge in Lithuania. Before she was arrested, she was the victim of domestic violence and extreme controlling behaviour from her husband.
Children’s right to private and family life
She challenged extradition on the basis that her statelessness meant she could never return to the UK if she were extradited. If that happened, she would never be reunited with her children. By the time her appeal was heard, her two children had been severely affected by their mother’s arrest and imprisonment. They were at real risk of further significant and serious psychological harm if their mother was extradited. The local social services were about to begin care proceedings, as their grandmother could no longer look after the children.
The High Court judge hearing the case, Sir Wyn Williams, described the case as one of the most difficult of its type. He accepted that if our client were extradited, she would automatically lose custody of her children. This was because she would be unable to contest care proceedings in the family court. He concluded that this outcome would be a clearly disproportionate interference with her and her children’s right to private and family life.
After her release, we received a very nice ‘thank you’ card from the client. she said;
‘It’s only a thank you card but for me thank you means much more. It’s only because of this company I have the opportunity to send this card from outside. I am so thankful for everyone and for everything’
In court, our client was represented by Malcolm Hawkes of Doughty Street Chambers.
John Howey, Senior Solicitor