In a judgement handed down this month, two High Court judges wrote: “This is a highly unusual case concerning the interests of [several] children with complex personal, emotional, behavioural and psychological needs….

“It would be difficult to imagine a case involving children who are more vulnerable and needy.”

The court heard that extradition would cause a significant deterioration in the mental health of his now ex-wife and her ability to cope with their children’s complex needs on her own.

Cathryn McGahey, QC, representing the man, told the judges the original decision had failed to place enough significance on the needs of the children, and had not accepted evidence about his ex-wife’s mental state.

She also presented medical evidence suggesting the man’s asthma was “poorly controlled” and he would have been unfit to fly.

The court heard despite the end of the couple’s relationship, the man played an active role in the lives of his children.

The bench ruled extradition would breach the man’s right to family life, under Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights, and ordered that he be discharged.

The judges said: “Given the exceptional needs of these children, the support now provided by the Appellant, the immense practical difficulties that would ensue in the event of his extradition, and the likely consequences for [his ex-wife’s] mental state, we are driven to conclude that the public interest in favour of extradition is outweighed by the Article 8 rights of the Appellant and his family.

“We do not find it necessary to hold that the Appellant’s extradition would have a devastating effect on this family: it is sufficient to say that it would be highly deleterious.”

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