Latvia knife attack mother wins extradition fight

A woman who is wanted in Latvia to serve a jail sentence for knife attacks on two men has won her High Court battle to stay in the UK.

Natalija Krusinina, 54, is facing a six-year prison sentence for cutting and stabbing the men while under the influence of alcohol.

However a judge ruled she should not be extradited due to the "devastating" impact it could have on her daughter.

The judge also noted the "unusual" way the sentence was activated.

'Significant harm'

Mrs Justice Cox said Ms Krusinina's offences appeared "very serious indeed".

The judge said she would normally heavily favour extradition "save for the unusual features of this case" and the situation of her daughter Victoria".

Mrs Justice Cox ruled: "The public interest in returning the appellant to serve her sentence... is not such as to justify the significant harm that would be likely to be caused to Victoria as a result of this prolonged separation from her mother."

She added that the competing public interest in maintaining a comprehensive extradition system would not suffer "a significant impairment" if the mother was not surrendered to the Latvian authorities.

Ms Krusinina was living in Kalnciems when the offences occurred in September 2006.

She received a suspended sentence from Jelgava Court in June 2010 after cutting a man's face and stabbing another in the ribcage, causing him life threatening injuries.

While her sentence was suspended she applied for permission to join her elder daughter in London in order to work and pay off her debts, the judge said.

She arrived with her 14-year-old daughter in the UK in 2011 and started work as a hotel cleaner in Ilford.

Her six-year sentence was activated in full in December 2012 after she failed to attend a hearing in Latvia, despite the fact Ms Krusinina was told her non-attendance would not be a problem and her sentence would not be activated.

The judge allowed the appeal against a district judge's decision on 14 April ordering extradition in response to a European Arrest Warrant.

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