US blocked in bid to extradite child-sex suspect

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US government attempts to extradite from Britain a man accused of child sex crimes were blocked by the High Court yesterday.

Two judges sitting in London allowed an appeal against extradition by fugitive Shawn Sullivan, 43, after the US authorities refused to give an assurance that he would not be placed on a controversial sex offenders treatment programme in Minnesota. Sullivan has been described as one of the US’s most-wanted alleged sex criminals, and has also been convicted of sexually assaulting two 12-year-old girls in Ireland.

His lawyers argued he could be declared “sexually dangerous” and placed on the US programme without a trial and with no hope of release.

Lord Justice Moses and Mr Justice Eady ruled on June 20 there was a real risk that, if extradited, Sullivan would be subjected to an order of civil commitment to the treatment programme in a “flagrant denial” of his human rights.

Sullivan is wanted to stand trial for allegedly abusing three American girls in the mid-1990s.

He was arrested in London in June 2010 while living with Ministry of Justice policy manager Sarah Smith, 34, in Barnes, south-west London.

They married while he was held at Wandsworth Prison, before he was granted bail.

Sullivan, who has joint Irish-US nationality, was not in court yesterday,