‘Keep on fighting’ message sent to Northampton couple facing extradition on fraud charges

Paul and Sandra Dunham
Paul and Sandra Dunham

A close friend of a Northampton couple facing extradition to the United States has urged them to ‘keep fighting’ after hearing news they are could be held in the UK for at least another fortnight.

Paul and Sandra Dunham are being pursued by the US Department of Justice over a claim they embezzled more than one million US dollars (£605,000) in illegitimate expense claims while Mr Dunham worked for manufacturing company PACE.

The couple have fought the extradition over the past year to no avail - saying they would be kept in a ‘harsh’ detention centre and would not be entitled to legal aid if they were put on trial in the United States.

They were due to be flown to the United States on Thursday, but the couple ended up being taken to Northampton General Hospital early that morning.

They later admitted they had tried to take their own lives the night before.

On Friday the couple appeared in front of Westminster Magistrates Court at a breach of bail hearing, where Judge Howard Riddle remanded them in custody.

Mr Dunham is currently being held at HMP Wandsworth and Mrs Dunham at HMP Holloway.

Friend and neighbour of the couple Dolores Sanders said the Dunhams are likely to be held in the UK for a further fortnight while the case is reviewed and the couple’s condition is assessed.

Her and husband Dorian Smellie are hoping to visit them in the week.

She said: “For me I just really want them to keep fighting because there are so many of us that care for them.

“They are getting a taste of what prison life is like and I don’t know how that is affecting them.

“I want everyone to keep supporting and doing what they can to get this case heard properly.”

Mrs Sanders said work is now being done to see if bail conditions can be negotiated for the Dunhams in the United States - though she has not lost hope of that the extradition can be halted altogether.