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Posted on 9 January 2013

Retired British businessman Christopher Tappin to be sentenced in Texas today

Christopher Tappin, the 66 year-old British businessman who was extradited to the US last February, is due to be sentenced today in Texas.

According to the BBC, he faces a 33-month jail term, which prosecutors have said they would not oppose him serving in the UK.

Tappin’s extradition last February caused outrage among many prominent legal and governmental organisations, which called for British extradition law to be reassessed. But for Prisoners Abroad, which works with hundreds of British citizens held in American prisons, the main concern was and remains the prison conditions that Mr. Tappin could face in the U.S. and the impact on his family back home.

Pauline Crowe, Chief Executive of Prisoners Abroad, said:

“Out of the 1700 British people we care for every year, regardless of guilt or innocence, we have more people in need of our help in the United States than anywhere else. While the situation is not the same in every American prison, our staff have to deal daily with the devastating emotional and psychological effects on people and their families of the struggle to survive in often dangerous and terrifying conditions in United States prisons.”

Tappin’s wife, who reportedly has the chronic lung condition Churg-Strauss syndrome, was quoted after his November guilty plea as saying she hoped it was the “beginning of the end” of the family’s ordeal, and that her husband would soon be back in the UK.

Prisoners Abroad supports and advises many prisoners and their families through the transfer application process, and recognises that serving a sentence on home soil can spare prisoners and their families great emotional strain.

We await Mr. Tappin’s sentencing with interest.

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