by Stephen Wilkie
A mother of six and her husband are facing life behind bars in a US prison after judges ruled they can be extradited to America to face drugs charges.
Kerry Anne Howes was accused of falling pregnant three times in an attempt to avoid facing justice for breaching strict American import laws with her husband Brian.
The 32-year-old was led sobbing to the cells yesterday after the couple’s latest attempt to stay in Scotland failed at the Court of Criminal Appeal in Edinburgh.
They are accused of exporting chemicals used by drug dealers to make $13.3million (£8.2million) of highly addictive crystal meth at 70 laboratories in America.
Howes, who has a 16-week-old baby son, joined her husband behind bars and arrangements will be made to fly them across the Atlantic to face a federal trial in Arizona. If found guilty, they could be forced to work on a chain-gang, and are likely to be sentenced to up to 50 years each.
Federal authorities who looked into the business dealings of Brian Howes, 47, found he was behind exports of key chemicals used in the production of crystal meth.
The charges against Mr and Mrs Howes, from Bo’ness, West Lothian, allege they used their internet firm to supply 400 customers in the US, most of whom were producing crystal meth.
The Appeal Court ruled that the couple had failed to establish that extradition would be a violation of the European Convention on Human Rights.
Lord Osborne, sitting with Lord Reed and Lord Mackay of Drumadoon, said the alleged offences were of an “extremely serious nature”.
Lord Reed said of Mrs Howes: “The fact that she has borne two children and undergone a third pregnancy within such a short period, despite medical advice about the risks to her health, may lead to a suspicion that she and her husband saw this as a way of strengthening their arguments against extradition.
“The conception of children at a time when their parents were at risk of extradition to the United States and possible detention there might in any event be regarded as irresponsible.”
The Howes face being sent to America in 28 days, although their lawyers may challenge the decision at the Supreme Court in London or in Europe.
As she was led to the cells, Mrs Howes told friends to look after her offspring, saying: “Don’t let them forget me.”
Courtesy of the Scottish Sunday Express.