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Mother 'overwhelmed' hacker Gary McKinnon saved from extradition by Home Secretary Theresa May
The mother of computer hacker Gary McKinnon is “overwhelmed” he will not be extradited to America.
Home Secretary Theresa May announced her decision in the House of Commons today, ending a ten-year battle to protect the 46-year-old from facing the justice system in the US.
His mother Janice Sharp said: “It has been an emotional rollercoaster. I am not very articulate today; I am overwhelmed and incredibly happy.”
Mr McKinnon, from Palmers Green, is accused of committing the biggest military computer hack of all time from his home computer between 2001 and 2002.
Mr McKinnon, who suffers from Asperger’s syndrome and depression, claims he was searching for evidence about UFOs.
His mother thanked the Home Secretary for her “incredibly brave” decision to block his extradition, which she made on human rights grounds.
Concerns were raised after psychiatrists employed by the Home Secretary claimed Mr McKinnon would be at high risk of suicide if he were extradited - a statement supported by his mother.
If he had been found guilty in America, he could have faced up to 60 years in jail under terrorism charges.
Ms Sharp said her son is “incredibly emotional” and was speechless when he heard the news.
She said the case has taking its toll on Mr McKinnon, who felt like he was “worthless” and has lost any sense of self-esteem.
He has become reclusive, often sitting in the dark, and rarely leaving north London.
She claimed Mr McKinnon, who is unemployed and has no children, felt like a "dead person" while he was waiting for the extradition decision to be made.
However, she said the “life saving decision” will allow her son to rebuild his life in time despite him losing a huge part of his youth.
Ms Sharpe thanked Enfield, Southgate MP David Burrowes for tirelessly campaigning for her son, and said: “We have had so much support and without people power of all these different people together, there is no way Gary would have stayed here.
“We have done it for the little person and that is an incredible achievement.”
It is up to the director of public prosecution to decide if his case should be heard in a UK court.