Sir Ross Cranston has refused to uphold an order to extradite a pregnant single-mother of two young children to serve a 14-month prison sentence for low-level offences, committed over a decade ago.
Represented by Kamila Kwincinska, the appellant challenged the order to extradite her, after the lower court had described her offending as ‘a course of serious criminal conduct’. However the offences were low value, such as the sale of a stolen mobile phone valued at £63 and the shoplifting of clothes and were committed when the appellant was a teenager.
The court below ordered her extradition despite lacking any information about the care plans for the appellant’s children, aged 7 and 3; both were likely to be taken into social services care.
The judge recognised that the appellant was only nominally represented by lawyers at the magistrates court, who lodged an appeal but did not prepare any substantive argument. They also failed to inform the appellant that her application for leave to appeal was refused. The appellant only learned that she was to be extradited when police called to her home telling her to surrender.
Acting initially pro bono, Lansbury Worthington solicitors lodged an application for permission to appeal, out of time, which was granted, along with permission to appeal itself.
In allowing the appeal, the court disagreed with the lower court’s assessment- the offences were not serious, the interference with the children’s human rights would be disproportionate, and the appellant was now pregnant with her third child. The court criticised the appellant’s representatives at the court below.
An instructed Counsel in Janik v Poland was Malcolm Hawkes of Doughty Street Chambers.
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