Monday, October 3

New York to extradite Irishman who beat up British police in 1980


Rory McGrath was arrested in 1980 for assaulting a police officer during a fight.

Photo: West Yorkshire Police 1980 / Courtesy

An Irishman who has lived in the New York area for about 40 years He could soon be forced to return to the UK, after a federal judge ruled that could be extradited to face indictment for allegedly beating an English policeman in 1980.

Federal Magistrate Paul E. Davison wrote in an order Wednesday that attorneys for the Justice Department had met their burden of “probable cause in his case,” to extradite him. Rory McGrath, 62 years of age, with dual citizenship, with that of Ireland and that of the United States.

McGrath, who was arrested in May, may remain free on bail pending his extradition, Davison added in the warrant.

The Pearl River Resident is accused of breaking the nose of a West Yorkshire police officer during a fight outside a pub in the English city of Leeds in 1980, according to court documents.

Rory McGrath
Rory McGrath has dual citizenship, Irish and American. (Photo: Facebook Rory)

The Fight at the Leeds Pub

The fight in Leeds that night began when one of McGrath’s friends, Leslie Swithenbank, allegedly struck another young man outside a pub in the Garforth section of the city.

A local police officer intervened in the fight, and a group of Swithenbank friends, including McGrath, began assaulting the officer; the police chased and detained McGrath in a nearby parking lot.

However, McGrath allegedly “kicked the cop” and hit him in the face, breaking his nose; the officer needed surgery to repair the injury.

McGrath and other young men involved in the fight were arrested shortly after; However, instead of fighting your case in court, fled to the United States, where he has lived for about 40 years, working in union construction and later became a commercial property owner.

McGrath’s trial

In an effort to beat extradition, McGrath’s lawyer, James Kousouros, said the extradition request was flawed in part because it was based on a 2004 agreement that he claimed was not applicable after the UK broke up. of the European Union.

Judge Davison rejected the argument, noting that two other federal courts in Florida ruled in similar cases that Brexit did not affect what was agreed to in 2004.

At his initial hearing in May, Judge Davison agreed to release McGrath on bail after his attorney highlighted a number of health concerns.

In his decision to keep him out on bail on Wednesday, Davison pointed to the relatively minor punishment McGrath will face in the UK if convicted of the crime.

“He faces limited penalties if convicted in the UK and would certainly be eligible for bail if charged with similar offenses in the United States,” he wrote.


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