'Kidnap' mother Eileen Clark extradited to the US

Eileen Clark (centre) with son Chandler and daughter Rebekah Eileen Clark fled the US in 1998 with her three children, including son Chandler and daughter Rebekah

Related Stories

A mother of three who fled her husband in the US has been extradited from the UK on charges of kidnapping her children, campaigners have said.

Eileen Clark, a US citizen living in West Way, Oxford, left her unhappy marriage over a decade ago.

Liberty said removing the "vulnerable" and "terrified" 57-year-old was a "perfect example of inhumanity and injustice".

The home secretary maintained the original extradition order in August.

But the case returned to court following fresh human rights submissions and a new diagnosis that Ms Clark was suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) related to a history of domestic violence and abuse in the 1990s.

'Bleak day'

Last month Lord Justice Treacy and Mr Justice Nicol, sitting at the High Court in London, rejected the latest challenge.

Start Quote

He is trying to destroy me”

End Quote Eileen Clark

The court was "dubious" about the PTSD claim, Lord Justice Treacy said, adding that "a cogent case" had not been established.

The judge said the removal of children without parental consent was "a serious matter" and recognised as such by both domestic and foreign courts.

Emma Norton, legal officer at Liberty, said: "Our client has been put on a plane by police officers at London Heathrow and extradited to the US - where the husband she fled almost 20 years ago waits to face her in court.

"The decision to send Eileen to the US disregards the terrible harm that extradition itself, let alone the prospect of facing her alleged abuser, will have on her."

Speaking to the BBC in May, Ms Clark said she sees the extradition as just another part of her ex-husband's abuse.

"He is trying to destroy me," she said.

Eileen Clark Eileen Clark was put on a plane by police officers at London Heathrow

"I feel like this is his final bid for power and control over me - to tear me away from my home, family and friends - after escaping years of abuse at his hands."

Her daughter Rebekah Van Sant, who also spoke to the BBC at the time, said: "I don't mean to sound melodramatic, but I just think it would be the end of her.

"I don't think she would be well enough at the start of that process, because she's really bad at the minute. She would need so much care, but she could be literally left sitting in a prison being neglected."

Ms Clark alleges her then husband threatened to push her down a flight of stairs while she was pregnant, hit her and abused her emotionally - until she reached her limit and escaped in 1995.

Sandra Horley, chief executive of domestic violence charity Refuge, said she was "horrified" and called it a "bleak day".

She said: "It is highly disturbing that her claims have not been properly examined in a court of law in this country.

"Instead, this terrified woman is being handed back to the States to face criminal charges."

Ms Clark's children were removed from New Mexico in 1995 and from the US in 1998.

She was arrested at her Oxfordshire home in July 2010 following a US government request for her return.

Her first husband, John Clark, started legal proceedings against her after she left the marital home, at first going to live with friends in California.

In June 1995, state prosecutors charged her with "custodial interference".

The marriage was dissolved in February 1997 with both parents retaining legal custody.

Her former husband, who never saw the children while they were growing up, continued to pursue his case against her through the US courts, leading to her eventually being indicted by a grand jury for "international parental kidnapping" after fleeing to the UK.

More on This Story

Related Stories

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites

BBC Oxford



22 °C 14 °C

BBC Local Live

    In the news 14:01: Bethan Phillips Newsreader, BBC Radio Oxford

    Major roadworks on Oxford's southern bypass have caused delays of up to two hours on the A34.

    A contraflow has been set up on the A423, reducing it to one lane in each direction.

    We'll hear from Emma Wilberforce from Stagecoach at 14:00, who says buses have been experiencing problems as a result.

    Hot pets 13:43:

    Becca Collacott from Abingdon has sent us this picture of her cat Ebony enjoying the recent hot weather.

    Send us in your pictures via email, Facebook or Twitter.

    Cat in the sun

    Take a look at BBC South Today's Facebook photo album of pets enjoying the sunshine.

    quarterstaffer's plea 13:28: Oxford Times

    A lone quarterstaffer is trying to teach Oxford about the little-known British tradition, despite the fact no one showed up to his first training session this week.

    Lunchtime television 13:15: BBC South Today

    Coming up from 13:30, with Tom Hepworth, after dominating the landscape for more than forty years three cooling towers at Didcot A power station are no more and troops from 23 Pioneer Regiment - the Royal Logistic Corps - have marched through Bicester for the final time ahead of the unit being disbanded.

    In the news 13:00: Bethan Phillips Newsreader, BBC Radio Oxford

    Roadworks on the A423 that caused severe traffic delays this morning are expected to last until November.

    We'll hear more from the deputy leader of Oxfordshire County Council, Rodney Rose, after 13:00.

    He says they've been trying to work outside of rush hour as much as possible.

    Commonwealth games 12:51:

    Didcot shooter Dan Rivers has missed out on place in the final of the 50m prone event after finishing 20th in today's qualifying event.

    He won bronze in the 10m air rifle shootout on Friday.

    Dan Rivers
    Dead fish 12:37:

    The Environment Agency tweets: 1/2 1) We are busy investigating the cause of pollution to Moor Ditch in #Didcot with has resulted in dead fish.

    It added: 2/2 This incident isn't related to recent demolition of the #Didcot cooling towers. Please call with any info on the pollution 0800 807060.

    A34 congestion 12:20:

    Stagecoach Oxford tweets: SERVICE UPDATE:A34 is heavily congested due to Kennington r/works. S5's experiencing delays of up to 35 mins.

    Final march 12:09: Oxford Times

    Bicester's 23 Pioneer Regiment passed through the town on Sunday for the last time.

    In the news 12:00: Paul Jenner Newsreader, BBC Radio Oxford

    A contraflow system installed on Oxford's southern bypass has been causing huge problems on the A34 this morning.

    The A423 was down to one lane in each direction between Hinksey Hill Interchange and Heyford Hill Interchange.

    We'll hear from the county's transport boss Rodney Rose after 12:00.

    Benefit Fraud 11:42:

    A 48-year-old man who dishonestly claimed more than £8,800 in benefits has been given a 12-month community order of 120 hours unpaid work.

    Yawahab Badmus, of Hockmore Tower, Cowley, who was also told to pay £120 costs, will have to pay back the overpaid benefit to Oxford City Council.

    New Oxford United signing 11:31:

    Oxford United have signed defender Joe Riley on loan from Bolton Wanderers.

    Riley 22, joins the team until January after passing his medical this morning.

    Joe Riley

    Head coach Michael Appleton said: "He is 6ft tall, he has pace and he uses the ball well.

    "A lot of clubs have been monitoring his career and he has a chance to come here, play games and show everyone what a good player he is."

    Arson attack 11:21: Oxford Mail

    A tyre business owner has spoken out after his workshop was destroyed in a suspected arson attack at Faringdon Business Park in the early hours of Saturday.

    Pictures: Didcot demolition 11:11:

    Thanks to Damien Dyer who emailed these fantastic aerial shots of where the Didcot cooling towers once stood.

    Demolished Didcot towers
    Demolished Didcot towers
    In the news 10:59: Paul Jenner Newsreader, BBC Radio Oxford

    Motorists have been stuck in traffic this morning because of roadworks in Oxford.

    The A423 has been reduced to one lane in each direction between Hinksey Hill Interchange and Heyford Hill Interchange.

    We'll hear from someone who was in the jam earlier on BBC Radio Oxford after 11:00.

    Stuck in traffic? 10:49: Malcolm Boyden Mid-morning presenter, BBC Radio Oxford

    We want to hear from you if you've been stuck on the A34 this morning. Give us a call on 03459 311666.

    Feedback 10:41:

    What do you think of BBC Local Live? Tell us what you think.

    A34 traffic 10:29:

    Dani Dixey tweets: @dizzy_360 @BBCOxford it's taken me over an hour from Abingdon and I've moved maybe 3 miles! Turn off where you can!

    On today's show 10:24: Malcolm Boyden Mid-morning presenter, BBC Radio Oxford

    I'll be talking to Ian Nolan, a relative of Chipping Norton 18-year-old Emma Curtis-Smith, who died while watching her boyfriend on his first parade as an officer cadet at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurt in Surrey in 2005. Ian will be talking about the charity launched in her memory, Emma's Trust.

    I'll also be meeting Witney man Mike Leahy who's sold his house and possessions to live in a double decker bus with a load of scorpions and leeches.

    M40 queuing traffic 10:13:
    In the news 10:00: Paul Jenner Newsreader, BBC Radio Oxford

    Roadworks have caused severe traffic delays in Oxford this morning.

    We will be talking to those caught up in the jams on BBC Radio Oxford after 10:00.

    Didcot demolition 09:44: Phil Gayle Breakfast presenter, BBC Radio Oxford

    This morning I want to know what would you built on the site of the Didcot cooling towers now three of them have been demolished?

    It's the size of 65 football pitches. What does Oxfordshire need?

    Didcot Power Station

    Get in touch and join the discussion on Facebook or Twitter.

    A34 woes 09:36:

    Becky Donaldson tweets: @BBCOxford a34 north been queued from before marcham turnoff not at abingdon yet and sat still, its been 90mins and counting....urgh

    New playground 09:29: Henley Standard

    A £130,000 toddler playground has been officially opened in Henley.

    Replacements for Didcot's towers? 09:19: via Facebook

    Three of Didcot's cooling towers are gone and BBC Radio Oxford listeners have been discussing on Facebook what the site could now be used for.

    Edith Smith wrote: Didcot has nothing special in Didcot for kids. Take a leaf out of Cholsey and make a special play area.

    Didcot Power Station

    Carol Kenny wrote: Out door/indoor leisure centre, with a Glamping site.

    Stephen Shephard suggested a theme park.

    What do you think? Join the debate now.

    M40 traffic 09:09:

    Stop-start traffic has been reported on the M40 London-bound between J6, B4009 (Watlington) and J3, A40 (Loudwater).

    top headlines
    in the news 09:00: Paul Jenner Newsreader, BBC Radio Oxford

    We've spoken to Bill McKinnon, who lives just 450m away from where Didcot's closest tower once stood.

    He says there was a huge amount of dust from yesterday's demolition.

    Hear more on BBC Radio Oxford after 9:00.

    Gaza rally 08:44: Oxford Mail

    Opponents of Israel's bombardment of the Gaza strip took to the streets of Oxford on Saturday in support of victims of the conflict.

    Man hit by car 08:33:

    A man was hit by a car following an argument with at least one woman yesterday, police have said.

    The argument happened near the Evenlode Tower in Blackbird Leys, Oxford, at about 01:00.

    The man was then hit by a silver car while he was on the pavement near the tower and the woman got into the car, which drove off.

    He suffered heavy bruising to his leg and was taken to the John Radcliffe Hospital.

    They're gone... 08:24:

    Three cooling towers at Didcot A Power Station were demolished yesterday.

    Didcot Power Station demolition

    Hundreds of people gathered to watch the towers come down at 5:01 BST.

    Relive the moment they were demolished here.

    Roadworks 08:14:

    There is a new contraflow system in place between the A4074 and A34 with traffic reduced to one lane due to junction improvements at the Kennington Roundabout and Hinksey Hill Interchange.

    Long delays are expected.

    Sunny intervals 08:06: Bee Tucker BBC Weather

    There will be sunny intervals and showers today, which will be locally very heavy and thundery.

    Weather forecast

    Generally it will feel warm or very warm in the light winds. Highs of 23C (73F).

    Good morning 08:00: Emma Harrison BBC News Online

    Welcome along to BBC Local Live this Monday morning. I'll be bringing you the latest news, sport, travel and weather for the county.

    Get in touch - on email, Facebook or Twitter.



BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.