Friends of Paul and Sandra Dunham say the Northamptonshire couple ‘just couldn’t cope’

Paul and Sandra Dunham
Paul and Sandra Dunham

Paul and Sandra Dunham collapsed at their home after feeling the “enormous weight” of their extradition to America, friends revealed today.

It also emerged they had openly threatened to kill themselves if they failed in their bid to remain in the UK.

Close friend Dolores Sanders, 42, who is looking after the couple’s two dogs Oscar and Buster, said: “I don’t know what happened to them.

“Paul is quite ill and has lots of medication in the house for stress and his heart condition. The police took some of it away.

“I think it was just the enormous weight of it all that took its toll on them until they collapsed this morning.

“I was speaking to them a lot on Wednesday and they seemed very positive. They were sorting everything out.

“They just seemed to be getting on with it.

“They had talked about the worst case before at their lowest but the last few days they seemed upbeat and no mention of harming themselves.

“The last I heard from them was late on Wednesday night when Paul forwarded us an email from our MP saying Theresa May wouldn’t help.

“I think that was their last hope and then they really felt like no one cared.

“I think they woke up and just couldn’t cope.

“It is so sad, they are a lovely couple and this should never have happened. It didn’t need to be like this it could have been sorted out in other ways.

“I think they just feel very abandoned.

“My husband Dorian and I care but what can we do?

“We met them about three years ago when Sandra came to do some PA work for our fitness business.

“We got on really well and got to know them. They are lovely and our friendship began from there.

“With all their planning we were always going to have their dogs from this morning so were going to collect them.

“But we were called by someone from the local BBC radio saying there was a problem.

“Dorian went there as I had to drop our daughter off for an exam.

“He was with them until they were taken away in the ambulance.

“I think they were feeling very stressed and Paul hasn’t been well recently anyway.

“I’m just waiting to hear now from the hospital but I don’t think they are critical, they are just being monitored.

“I have spoken to their family and they are in pieces. No one knows exactly what is going on or whether they will still be sent to America when they are released from hospital.”

During an interview with the BBC in February, the couple said they had “considered suicide” if they were extradited.

Police today confirmed the couple were being treated at Northampton General Hospital.

A spokeswoman said: “Police were called to an address in Collingtree, Northampton, this morning following concerns raised about the welfare of two people.

“Police attend the property at approximately 7.15am, forced entry and called paramedics.

“Two people were taken to Northampton General Hospital.”