Pressure of extradition fight sees couple split

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A COUPLE facing extradition to the United States for allegedly exporting chemicals used to make the deadly drug crystal meth have split up due to the pressures of their legal battle.

Brian Howes and his wife, Kerry Anne, are awaiting the result of an appeal to the Supreme Court to decide whether they will be extradited to Arizona to face the charges.

But Mr Howes, who is currently on hunger strike while on remand in Addiewell Prison in West Lothian, said the couple had now separated.

The 47-year-old, from Bo’ness, said his wife had been left unable to cope with his remand while facing her own extradition and separation from their six children.

Speaking to the Evening News from jail, he said: “There’s no official reason why we’ve split up. It’s just a result of the tensions we are living through. When I phone her up to ask for help researching our case, she could no longer do it. She was too upset to even put ‘extradition’ through Google.

“When I speak to her she would say ‘That’s it then, I’m coming to the US’. I think she feels I’ve let her down.

“She’s really in a bad way and has also been worried about losing the house.

“The house is up for repossession. The court may have already found against us, but to be honest I can’t face phoning up to find out at the moment.”

Mrs Howes, 33, who could not be contacted yesterday, faces losing the family home after being sued by a loan company Central Trust PLC, which claims it is owed more than £5000.

Mr Howes said he had lost a stone and a half in weight since launching his hunger strike ten days ago.

He wants the case against his wife to be dropped and legal aid granted for his children to have legal representation before the Supreme Court to argue their case against being split up from their parents.

Mr Howes, who has been on remand for nine months, added: “The doctors say I’m at risk of a heart attack. They advised to avoid stress but I don’t see how that’s possible.

“But I intend to see this through till the end. I won’t stop until I die.”

The Howes lost a bid last month at the Court of Criminal Appeal in Edinburgh to stop them being sent to Arizona to face trial, but the same court last week gave them leave to go to the Supreme Court.

US authorities allege the couple sold chemicals via the internet knowing that they would be used to make crystal meth. The Howes maintain they ran a legitimate chemical business.