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'Without legal aid Gary would not be here'

6 January 2014 Last updated at 11:23 GMT

Criminal case lawyers will not be attending courts in a number of cities in England and Wales on Monday, in protest at planned £220m cuts to legal aid.

Janis Sharp is the mother of computer hacker Gary McKinnon, who fought extradition to the US with the help of legal aid.

She told the BBC that her son, who has Asperger's syndrome, would have taken his own life if he had not had the support of his lawyer.

Mrs Sharp also suggested that some people in need of legal support would not be able to get adequate representative without sufficient financial aid and that special interest lawyers would be forced to work only in the private sector.

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