surrendered | 

Irish woman wanted in UK on suspicion of assisting bathtub murderer to be extradited

Elaine Sadlier (55) had objected to her surrender on humanitarian grounds

Elaine Sadlier

The court heard that Foran had been June Jones' partner for eight years

Paul NeilanSunday World

An Irish woman wanted on suspicion of helping a murderer who left the body of his ex-partner in a bathtub for weeks is to be extradited to the UK.

Elaine Sadlier (55) had objected to her surrender on humanitarian grounds after UK authorities in Birmingham issued a warrant for her arrest under the terms of the post-Brexit 'Trade and Co-operation Agreement'.

Ms Sadlier's lawyers had argued that she should not be surrendered under Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights, as she is the sole carer for a person in Ireland who has epilepsy and an intellectual disability.

Birmingham Magistrates Court issued the warrant on June 14, 2021, accusing Ms Sadlier of assisting Michael Foran, who pleaded guilty to the murder of Katie 'June' Jones at a flat in West Bromwich in 2018.

On New Year's Eve 2018, Ms Jones' body was discovered by police who forcibly entered her flat on Wyndmill Crescent, Charlemont, West Bromwich. Ms Jones' body was found in a bathtub beneath a layer of bedding. She had been repeatedly stabbed and there were signs of strangulation.

A knife was found next to her body and there were also signs of a struggle in the blood-spattered bathroom.

The court heard that Foran had been June Jones' partner for eight years

In October 2019, Foran pleaded guilty to the murder of his ex-partner and was sentenced to life imprisonment with a minimum of 17 years to be served.

Another male, Keith O'Dwyer, also pleaded guilty to assisting Foran after the murder and was sentenced to 16 months in jail.

Ms Sadlier, of Shannonvale, Old Cratloe Road, Co Limerick, is accused of assisting an offender contrary to Section 4 of the Criminal Law Act 1967 under UK law.

On Wednesday at the High Court, Mr Justice Kerida Naidoo said that he would order the extradition of Ms Sadlier and though it would be to the detriment of the person she cares for, he could not locate any exceptional circumstances to prevent her surrender.

Mr Justice Naidoo said that a medical report furnished to the court said that while the cared-for person would experience separation anxiety and possibly seizures because of the surrender, the person could be looked after by a "suitably qualified professional" in Ms Sadlier's absence.

Mr Justice Naidoo noted that the cared-for person had become more dependent on Ms Sadlier after both a family bereavement and the effects of Covid-19 but said the nature of the alleged offence was "the interference of the administration of justice".

Brian Storan BL, for Ms Sadlier, applied for a postponement to the surrender of his client to organise viable, alternative care-plans for the person.

Alex Caffrey BL, for the State, said there was no objection to the postponement.

Mr Justice Naidoo adjourned the matter to January 16, 2023, and asked for an affidavit to be filed to the court regarding an update for a care-plan by November 30.

At a previous hearing of the case, Mr Caffrey said Ms Sadlier was accused of helping Foran leaving the scene and arranging for him to stay in a hostel after the murder.

The barrister said the accusing warrant stated that CCTV showed Foran, O'Dwyer, an unknown male and Ms Sadlier carrying baggage to an Irish-registered Range Rover which was then driven to Liverpool.

A Liverpool hostel owner told police that he received a phone call from an Irish number from a woman with an Irish accent that investigators attribute to the respondent, Ms Sadlier, who inquired about a room.

Foran paid cash for his two-night stay and the Range Rover was then driven to a Holyhead ferry and tracked to Ireland.

Before he pleaded guilty, Foran's murder trial heard that Ms Jones was last seen in his company before she was reported missing and that her death most likely occurred on December 10, 2018, three weeks before the discovery of her body.

Both O'Dwyer and Foran were arrested in January 2019 in West Bromwich and Liverpool city centre respectively.

Mr Caffrey had said that Ms Sadlier's legal team were in contact with West Midlands Police, who had requested that Ms Sadlier travel for a voluntary interview under the condition that she would not be arrested but she had not returned.

Mr Caffrey told the court that the maximum punishment in the UK for assisting an offender is 10 years' imprisonment.

Noting the bereavement, Mr Justice Naidoo said that the case was a "very sad" one, held in "very unfortunate circumstances".

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