Paul and Sandra Dunham taken to hospital ahead of US extradition

Reporters who had been due to interview the couple were unable to contact them, as Neil Bradford reports from outside their home

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A British couple due to be extradited to the United States to face fraud and money laundering charges have been taken to hospital.

Paul and Sandra Dunham, from Northampton, had been due to report to a London police station at 10:00 BST before being flown out of the country.

They had fought and lost an extradition battle over concerns about their health and possible treatment in US custody.

The condition of the couple is not yet known.

I got there at 06:40 and we were due to interview them shortly after seven.

I knocked on the door several times and there was no answer. We have interviewed them lots of times and they've never failed to answer to us.

I could hear the dogs were in the garage. By 07:00 it was apparent that something was not right. The thought of being there for work just went out of the window and I just hoped they were OK.

It was at that point that I called the police. They arrived by 07:15 and then more police officers turned up and broke in. Paul Dunham went off in an ambulance at about 08:25 and Sandra went at 08:40.

Police went to their home in Windingbrook Lane at about 07:15 and forced entry to the property, a spokesman said.

BBC Radio Northampton reporter Tom Percival said the couple were put in separate ambulances.

Mr Dunham walked into an ambulance with "limited assistance", with his wife being brought out of the house under blankets and in a wheelchair, he added.

The couple had previously told the BBC they could be driven to suicide if they were extradited.

Mr Dunham, 58, had been chief executive and president of Pace, a US company manufacturing soldering irons for the electronics industry.

Police outside the home of Paul and Sandra Dunham Police were called to the home of Paul and Sandra Dunham after concerns were raised for their welfare

He was indicted on 13 counts of fraud and money laundering by a grand jury in Maryland in December 2011.

The Dunhams' solicitor, Michael Evans, has sought urgent assurances from the Home Secretary that no steps will be taken to extradite the couple for a period of 14 days.

However, it's understood the Home Secretary has no power to intervene in the case at this stage of the process, and that any application to delay or challenge at this point would have to be made to the court that ruled in favour of the extradition.

Mrs Dunham, also 58, is accused of aiding and abetting him.

They have previously said they "vehemently reject" the allegations and that they fear their extradition could see them remanded in the US "with murderers and rapists" for more than a year before any trial.

Mr Dunham told BBC Radio Northampton on Tuesday that he and his wife could possibly be granted bail by a court 24 hours after arrival, but without being able to take any money into the US they would not be able to afford to live.

Their appeal against extradition was rejected by both the High Court and the European Court of Human Rights earlier this year.

They were due to attend Belgravia police station at 10:00 BST on Thursday before being taken to Heathrow Airport to meet US marshals to be extradited.

Paul Dunham and his home in Northampton Police were called after Paul Dunham and his wife failed to answer the door to the media at their home

The Home Office has yet to comment on whether extradition proceedings have now been delayed.

The High Court hearing in February was told the couple's lives had been "shattered" by the legal proceedings they face.

It heard they had lost their jobs, home and assets in the US and were declared bankrupt in the UK, causing their mental and physical health to suffer "severely".

The couple worked in the US between 1999 and 2009.

Paul Dunham and his dogs The couple were due to hand themselves in to police in London earlier

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