Ukrainian abuse victim represented by Mary Westcott wins appeal against extradition to Hungary
Mary Westcott successfully represented a Ukrainian woman with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, overturning the order made for extradition to Hungary, based on a prosecution for obtaining a false Hungarian passport.
The woman, “H.”, a Ukrainian national, entered the UK on the same forged passport that formed the basis of the Hungarian European Arrest Warrant (“EAW”). Although prior to the extradition case, asylum had been refused, based on the detailed psychiatric and psychological evidence collated during the extradition proceedings to reflect the impact of H.’s kidnap and rape in the Ukraine in 2015, a fresh asylum application was lodged.
H. was in continuous detention from September 2016 to May 2017 at Yarl’s Wood Immigration Removal Centre, until her arrest pursuant to the EAW, thereafter in custody at HMP Bronzefield. The District Judge that ordered extradition in November 2017, later agreed to Mary Westcott’s application for H.’s conditional bail in January 2018 (immigration bail followed thereafter).
Ouseley J. gave permission to appeal the extradition order having considered the papers in March, the grounds being: S21A (proportionality); Article 3 ECHR; Article 8 ECHR; and S25 (mental and physical condition).
On 26 September, Sir Ross Cranston allowed the appeal on the first ground, finding that the District Judge was correct that the offence was serious, but that he should have discharged on the “likely penalty” proportionality provision (S21A(1)(b) / S21A(1)(3)(b)). The issuing Hungarian Court had only provided evidence about the maximum five year penalty. In any event, if extradited, H’s 8 and a half month remand in custody at HMP Bronzefield during the extradition case prior to her release on bail would have to be deducted from any final penalty. In those circumstances and, noting evidence from the Appellant about the likely penalty to be imposed, it was correct that any penalty would be likely to be deemed complete.
In H v Hungary, Mary Westcott was instructed by John Howey of JFH Solicitors