Essex

Silicone injection death: Mum fears male jail if sent to US

Westminster Magistrates Image copyright Geograph/David Hawgood
Image caption The extradition hearing is taking place at Westminster Magistrates' Court

A mother fighting extradition to the United States may have to spend time in an all-male prison, a court heard.

Donna Francis is accused of killing 34-year-old Kelly Mayhew in a botched cosmetic procedure in Queens, New York City, in 2015.

A specialist has raised concerns about the conditions she could face in a holding jail while she is processed.

But US authorities have said Ms Francis, 37, would be transferred to a suitable facility within a day.

Ms Francis, of Loughton, Essex, is wanted in the US over criminally negligent homicide after injecting silicone into Ms Mayhew's buttocks, Westminster Magistrates' Court heard.

The mother of one left for the UK the day after the death, the court was told.

Solitary confinement

Joshua Dratel, a lawyer in New York who prepared a report for the court, said via video link: "Once she's in the US, there's not a lot of logistical detail or any logistical detail frankly on how she is going to be housed in what are all-male facilities for a period of one or two or three days.

"I don't know how they're going to accomplish accommodating a female alone... unless you put her in solitary, which has its own issues."

Forensic psychiatrist Andrew Forrester has previously told the court Ms Francis is suffering from a non-psychotic moderate to severe depressive episode and should not be held in solitary confinement.

Prosecutor Catherine Brown said US authorities had given assurances Ms Francis would be cleared and transferred to a jail in Suffolk County, Long Island, within a day.

Ms Francis was bailed to appear at court again on 4 September.

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