Killer sentenced to 10 years in US federal prison after UK’s longest extradition case

Phillip Harkins was sentenced to 10 years imprisonment in the US today. Harkins was originally arrested for murder in 1999 but fled to Scotland from the US after he was remanded on bail. He was then re-arrested in Scotland in 2003 after he was charged with death by dangerous driving. His 14-year extradition case, believed to be the longest in UK history, went several times to the European Court of Human Rights. On each occasion the court ruled that there was no risk that Harkins would face the death penalty due to diplomatic assurances provided by the US; and that the possibility that he would face life imprisonment without parole did not amount to a breach of Article 3 ECHR which prohibits inhuman and degrading treatment. Harkins was finally extradited to the US in 2017. Today, the US court sentenced him to 25 years for the 2 killings and 15 years for a subsequent attempted armed robbery charge. These sentences will be served concurrently and have been reduced to take into account the years he spent in prison in the UK. Overall, this means he will be spending a further 10 years in a federal prison in the US.