Bolsover mum calls on Government to step in after son loses extradition battle to United States

A BOLSOVER mum has called on the Government to step in after a judge ruled her 23-year-old son could be extradited to the United States to face trial over alleged copyright infringement.

Sheffield Hallam University student Richard O’Dwyer could face 10 years in an American jail if convicted.

He had created a website that helped people watch films and TV shows for free.

On Friday, Richard’s mother Julia O’Dwyer, who lives in Bolsover, wept outside Westminster Magistrates’ Court after District Judge Quentin Purdy ruled that the extradition to New York should go ahead.

She slammed the controversial 2003 extradition treaty between the UK and US as unfair and unbalanced.

“David Cameron and Nick Clegg came into office saying they would fix this law,” she said. “They need to pull their fingers out.”

US customs agents are seeking the prosecution over the now shut down TVShack website, which Richard set up from his bedroom when he was 19.

They claim the website, which provided links to other sites hosting pirated versions of TV shows and films, earned him thousands of pounds in advertising revenue.

But his lawyers say the site was little different from a search engine and was unlikely to be illegal under UK law.

They argued in court that the site did not store copyright material itself and only directed users to other sites in the same way that Google does.

Mrs O’Dwyer says her son, who is still on bail, will appeal against the decision and called on ministers to help.

“To me he’s just a geeky boy, who sits in his room messing on his computer,” she told reporters on Friday.

“Let’s hope our Government can bring some common sense to bear to put an end to such unnecessary, yet deeply traumatic, extradition demands.”

The Extradition Act of 2003 was designed to make it easier to extradite terrorists after the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

But campaigners argue that American officials have extradited far more British citizens than vice versa.

Another ongoing case is that of Gary McKinnon, who is wanted in the US after he hacked into Pentagon computers from his bedroom in London.