Expriests Extradition a Step Closer

By Emma Stone
Coventry Telegraph

July 24, 2008

THE extradition of a former Coventry priest, who is accused of abusing altar boys 25 years ago, has moved a step closer.

Specialist lawyers working for West Midlands CPS in London are considering the case of James Robinson who now lives in California.

They will decide whether West Midlands Police has a strong enough case to request the former priest's extradition back to the UK to face abuse charges.

Mr Robinson was assistant parish priest at St Elizabeth's in Eld Road, Foleshill, during the early 1980s.

Two men in Coventry claim they were sexually abused as boys by him and have been given compensation by the archdiocese of about ?25,000 apiece.

Although the allegations were investigated by police, Robinson has never faced a court in this country.

He moved in 1993 to California where there was no extradition treaty with the UK.

But the law has changed and police are asking the Crown Prosecution Service to see if he can be deported to the UK for trial.

West Midlands police have been spurred into action following an internal investigation.

A complaint was made by another victim of sex abuse, a man raised in Rugby but now living in Scotland, that police were not properly investigating the Roman Catholic archdiocese which covers Coventry and Warwickshire.

Police admit they failed to investigate his complaint.

Mr Robinson transferred to a position in the Catholic church in Los Angeles but was barred from acting as a priest in 1993.

A spokesman for West Midlands CPS said: "Discussions are taking place and we are actively looking at the case.

"We have received a file from West Midlands Police and are now in discussions with our extradition team in London to examine the possibility of extraditing Fr Robinson from the USA."


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