US drugs suspect not named to protect daughter
A British man accused of a drugs conspiracy in the US must be extradited to stand trial without the public knowing his identity, the High Court has ruled.
Two judges said the man, referred to as B, must not be named to protect his daughter from publicity.
The court heard B, from west London, is the sole carer of the girl, 12, and extraditing him could "devastate" her.
He is accused of importing and distributing crystal meth in New York.
He is alleged to have been involved in organising deals - exporting from India between 2011 and 2012 - through multiple phone calls with a New York contact but never leaving the UK.
His lawyers contended it was a case of entrapment.
Refusing the man's appeal against extradition, the judges rejected his claim that his removal would cause a disproportionate breach of his daughter's right to a family life under Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights.
They imposed reporting restrictions, saying the girl was facing a "deeply troubling" time and entitled to protection from media attention.
Sir John Thomas, president of the Queen's Bench Division, sitting with Mr Justice Cranston, said seeing her father extradited to New York would be hard on the girl, referred to as H, and "it would be horrible for her to go to school" with others knowing what was happening to her and her father.
B was appealing against a ruling by Senior District Judge Howard Riddle at Westminster Magistrates' Court in December 2012 that his case was fit for extradition.
The Home Secretary subsequently ordered B's removal in February this year.
Mr Justice Cranston said B stood accused in the US of offences linked to the supply and distribution of controlled drugs, two of which carried maximum sentences of life imprisonment.
The judge said: "We know the appellant is alleged to have offered to supply up to five kilograms of crystal meth per week."
He added: "The future of H is deeply troubling, but it is plainly not disproportionate for the appellant to be extradited to the US to stand trial there on such serious charges."