Extradition to Hungary refused: victim of extreme domestic violence to remain in the UK

27.05.16 | |

 

The High Court has allowed the appeal against extradition to Hungary of a woman, wanted to serve a near-five year prison sentence for offences of theft.

 

Represented by Malcolm Hawkes, the Appellant ’s circumstances were found to be exceptional and compelling. She had been convicted of multiple offences of shoplifting, causing a loss of some £648. However, she alleged she had been the victim of extreme domestic violence at the hands of her husband over many years.

 

Her experience reflected the grave concerns about the inadequate protection of women, as set out in the 2013 Human Rights Watch report, Unless Blood Flows: Lack of Protection from Domestic Violence in Hungary. The report stressed the near indifference, both societally and in law, to the physical abuse of women. The Appellant argued that in consequence of being beaten and repeatedly raped, she developed Post-traumatic Stress Disorder, which led to her drug abuse and shoplifting to fund the habit.

 

Expert evidence found the Appellant was likely to suffer a collapse in her already fragile mental health if extradited, in large part due to her fear and anxiety of being returned to the country where she had suffered such horrific abuse. Since coming to the UK in 2010, she has led a model life, free of drugs and has not re-offended.

 

Permission to appeal was refused on the papers; it was later granted on the grounds that the issues raised were just arguable. At the full hearing, following lengthy argument, Mr. Justice Mitting concluded that the real risk of a severe deterioration in her mental health outweighed the public interest in extradition and allowed the appeal.

 

In JM v Hungary, Malcolm was instructed by Nadia Dimitrova of Lansbury Worthington solicitors.

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