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Hannah Hinton overturns the decision of a district judge on appeal on Article 8 ECHR grounds

17th January 2022

Hannah’s client, a 32 year old mother of a 2 year old, was wanted by the Latvian authorities to serve a 6 year prison sentence for supplying drugs.   In Nov 2010, she was a student at a university in Latvia.  Small quantities of cannabis were found in the premises in which she was living with her then boyfriend.  This resulted in her being convicted in Dec 2011 of two offences. One offence was possession of cannabis for her own consumption, the other more serious offence was possession of cannabis with an intent to supply it.  Upon conviction of those two offences she was sentenced to 6 years imprisonment in 2011. The whole sentence remains outstanding bar 2 days.

She faced several years in prison estranged from her young daughter who was diagnosed with autistic traits. There was material from the Latvian authorities that if a mother who has a small child is imprisoned there the child can be cared for by the mother within the prison until the child attains 4 years.  There is also material there are two possible points and circumstances of early release before the full sentence has been imposed there can be conditional release after 2/3rd and release after half if the prisoner agrees to a tag.

The Court received evidence from two psychiatrists that separation and the disruption would impact detrimentally and potentially irreparably upon her daughter who had an emerging diagnosis of autistic spectrum disorder. The Court accepted that the impact on her daughter was so severe that extradition should not take place. Hannah’s client had changed her life in the 11 years that had passed since the crime. She had become the manager at a store of a well known fashion brand and was a responsible and caring parent. The Court accepted that the time she had spent fighting the extradition case, over 2 years on a tagged curfew, went some way toward punishment for the offence and congratulated her for the improvements she had made in her life.

Hannah was instructed by Freemans Solicitors.

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