High Court quashes decision to extradite mother of three children

25.11.16 | |

 

On 24 November 2016, Ouseley J. quashed an order for extradition made by district judge Grant due to the judge’s “misappraisal” of the evidence and failure to properly consider the interests of the appellant’s children.

 

The extradition of the appellant, AK, was sought by Poland to serve a sentence of one year’s imprisonment for offences relating to fraudulently obtaining bank loans in May 2004. The sentence was originally suspended in February 2005, following which the appellant came to the UK.  The sentence was activated in June 2008 as, in leaving Poland, AK was unable to comply with the terms of the suspension. The European arrest warrant was issued in November 2013.

 

AK is separated from her husband and has three children who live with her; the eldest of whom has significant mental health difficulties. The father has sporadic contact with the children. The district judge received evidence from Dr Pettle, an eminent clinical psychologist, that the impact on the children would be “devastating” and that the ex-husband could not properly look after the children. There was also a report from local social services which confirmed that the impact on the children of losing their mother would be “severe”, that the father “lacked insight into the emotional well being of the children” and that he “may not be able to cope”. However, the judge concluded on the basis of that report that AK had played down the ability of the ex-husband to look after the children.

 

Ouseley J. found that the judge had gone “wrong” and had “placed too much weight on what the social worker said about the role of the husband” when, in fact, the social worker’s evidence did not support the conclusion that the ex-husband could cope. Furthermore, while it was a “matter of regret” that AK has “got away with” the offending by coming to the UK thereby breaching her suspended sentence conditions, in circumstances where the offence was not of “great gravity” and the inherent delay demonstrated that the matter was not of “great urgency”, surrender would breach the children’s family life rights as protected by Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights.

 

AK was represented by Graeme Hall, who was instructed by Pamela Relis of Powell Spencer and Partners. 

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