Friday, 28 October 2011

Mother's Ruin

The effect on our lives cannot be underestimated, Richard is  back at University where this year he is on a work placement. Obviously his employer and University needed to be informed about the situation. Thankfully all were supportive enabling Richard to carry on as planned which is helping to keep his mind off extradition.Having the threat of extradition hanging over him cannot be easy despite his "head in sand" approach.
Since our first visit to City of Westminster Magistrates Court I have not been able to go to my work, my career has been ruined as extradition has taken a hold. This thing has taken over my life completely, my concentration is poor and my motivation zero. I am spending every day all day either speaking to the media to raise awareness of the situation and the unbalanced Extradition Treaty with the US or spend time researching the law on extradition, human rights and copyright.
The worry of the extradition threat is not easy to live with, the thought of having your son carted off thousands of miles away to the US is a terrifying thought.

My partner has left unable to live with the stress. The stress of not getting enough attention due to me being slightly distracted!! Lol. So now I'm fighting and worrying about this alone on a day to day basis.

However so many people I have never met sending messages of goodwill and useful information. I am in constant contact with Janis Sharp mother of Gary McKinnon who has been fighting extradition to the US for nearly 10 years. Janis is so knowledgeable and supportive, I am so grateful for her help.

Latest on Gary Mckinnon

Other new friends David Bermingham who was himself extradited to the US. David has been fighting this extradition act since he was released after his own extradition. David has also assisted others facing extradition to the US, his own experiences mean he is extremely knowledgeable.

The NatWest Three Case

The Natwest Three Story in Detail 

Melanie Riley of Bell -Yard Communications who too is very knowledgeable and helps us to deal with the media. Bell-Yard Communications Ltd

Melanie asked Richard to create the website   Friends Extradited- All about extradition to the US to provide a source of information , support and raise awareness of the UK/US Extradition treaty.

I musn't forget my new Twitter friends too numerous to mention just now but I will do soon. Thank you

Bail Release Fiasco

24th May 2011 

 Arranging bail was a complete farce, such bungling inefficiency I shall expect as the norm from now on. It took my partner about 6 hours and two attempts to surrender Richard's passport at a Police Station near home. No one knew how to do it or what then to do with the passport so God only knows where that might be now. I remained in London and went with my sister to collect £3k in cash from the bank to surrender to a local police station as instructed. At the Police Station once more they didn't know what to do with the money but the girl on the desk was extremely helpful and rang through to Wandsworth Prison to confirm they had the Passport surrender confirmed and now the money. It was going to take them a few hours to "process" Richard for release!!
My sister and I went for lunch rather than go hang around at the Prison. Shortly I received a phone call from someone at the prison " can you go back to the Police Station and collect the money they don't want it!!! So off we went, the woman in the bank thought we were nuts. Back at the Police Station the helpful lady rang Wandsworth again to ensure things were moving on. She was told Richard would be free in 30minutes. As soon as she put the 'phone down I had a call from Richard saying he was outside the prison ready for picking up. Dear Oh Dear!

Richard survived the night in prison he was put in the "extradition section" which was full of friendly eastern europeans who told him he shouldn't be there. He shared a cell with a weed smoking companion who had the TV on all night. His only comment was that the food was bad. Off home at last what an ordeal.

Thursday, 27 October 2011

Extradition Review

 The long awaited Review of UK Extradition laws delivered non of what was expected by its victims, the legal profession and campaigners against the perceived current injustice.To say it has been a complete let down is an under estimation. Victims of our "rotten" extradition laws were pinning their hopes on something better than this. Expert submissions as well as the Joint Committee of Human Rights review appears to have been largely dismissed by the review panel with many condemning it as a "whitewash"

For more information on this go to

City of Westminster Magistrates Court

23rd May 2011 

I won't go into detail about my experiences at City of Westminster Magistrates Court, that's for another day just to say it was horrendous and very frightening.
Richard was taken straight into custody, I didn't get to see or speak to him or give any messages to him until after a lengthy wait of around two hours when he was brought into the Court room. A barrister was sent to assist Richard but she had no time to prepare and was ill informed.
The Judge, was stern and the prosecution lawyer unpleasant. We were made to feel like absolute criminals. The prosecution didn't want Richard to be allowed bail at all. However the Judge was sympathetic to the fact that Richard had University exams the following week. Richard's barrister struggled to make suggestions about bail conditions so in the end Richard had to suggest his own! Richard's passport was demanded as well as £3000 and at 5pm on a Thursday evening away from our home we were unable to sort these out as the court wanted to close. This meant Richard was taken to Wandsworth Prison for the night and I was left stranded in London wondering how I was going to sort out the passport and money issues.

SnowHill Police Station

23rd May 2011 I travelled down to London with Richard to answer bail as arranged. We had managed after some mix ups to get a Solicitor for Richard who had arranged for a London representative to meet us at Snow Hill Police Station.
Richard went into an office with two Police officers and the Solicitor. After a few minutes the Solicitor came out to me and told me that the criminal investigation in the UK had been "dropped". I felt an immediate sense of relief, however this was very short lived as in the next sentence I was informed that there was now an Extradition Warrant for Richard from the US and that we were to go immediately to the City of Westminster Magistrates Court. The reference to UK investigation hadn't clicked with us at first.
I was totally numb and shell shocked and turned to see Richard in handcuffs with one of the Police Officers. I asked him if he was OK, he said he was but he looked in shock. I told Richard I would see him at the Court. We were given no information whatsoever by the Police about what to expect or what would happen and I was left to find my way to the court whilst totally traumatised and terrified by what was happening. 

The Nightmare Begins

November 29th 2010 - My 22 year old  son Richard was visited in his University accommodation in Sheffield by officers from the City of London Police along with two Americans. They said they wanted to question him about a website he made called TV Shack and so Richard went along with them to a local Police Station in Sheffield. The Police took his computer and Laptop away with them.
Richard was questioned only for a short time 30-40 minutes, without a Solicitor being present. He answered all questions but was upset and tearful during this interview- something I found out only nine months later when I requested the transcript of the Police interview.
After the interview was concluded Richard was told he was on bail and would need to return to Snow Hill Police Station in London on 23rd May 2011. We heard no more from the Police until May when they confirmed the bail date. We expected that Richard might be charged with an offence or that the Police may need more time to investigate.