An Irish woman is being sought in the UK on suspicion of helping a male who pleaded guilty to the murder of his ex-partner, whose body he left in a bathtub for weeks, the High Court was told today.
Elaine Sadlier (55) appeared at the extradition court this morning objecting to her surrender to UK authorities in Birmingham who issued a warrant for her arrest under the terms of the post-Brexit ‘Trade and Co-operation Agreement’.
Birmingham Magistrates Court issued the warrant on June 14th, 2021, accusing Ms Sadlier of assisting Michael Foran, who pleaded guilty to the murder of Katie ‘June’ Jones at a flat in West Bromwich in 2018.
On New Year’s Eve 2018, Ms Jones’ body was discovered by police who forcibly entered her flat on Wyndmill Crescent, Charlemont, West Bromwich. Ms Jones’s body was found in a bathtub beneath a layer of bedding. She had been repeatedly stabbed and there were signs of strangulation.
A knife was found next to her body and there were also signs of a struggle in the blood-spattered bathroom.
In October 2019, Ms Jones’ former partner Foran pleaded guilty to her murder and was sentenced to life imprisonment with a minimum of 17 years to be served. Another male, Keith O’Dwyer, also pleaded guilty to assisting Foran after the murder and was sentenced to 16 months in jail.
Alex Caffrey BL, for the Minister for Justice, told Mr Justice Kerido Naidoo that the maximum punishment in the UK for assisting an offender is 10 years’ imprisonment.
Ms Sadlier, of Shannonvale, Old Cratloe Road, Co Limerick, is accused of assisting an offender contrary to Section 4 of the Criminal Law Act 1967 under UK law.
Mr Caffrey said the warrant stated that CCTV showed Foran, O’Dwyer, an unknown male and Ms Sadlier carrying baggage to an Irish-registered Range Rover which was then driven to Liverpool.
A hostel owner there told police that he received a phone call from an Irish number from a woman with an Irish accent that investigators attribute to the respondent, Ms Sadlier, who inquired about a room.
Foran paid cash for his two-night stay and the Range Rover was then driven to a Holyhead ferry and tracked to Ireland.
Before he pleaded guilty, Foran’s murder trial heard that Ms Jones was last seen in his company before she was reported missing and that her death most likely occurred on December 10th, 2018, three weeks before the discovery of her body.
Both O’Dwyer and Foran were arrested in January 2019 in West Bromwich and Liverpool city centre respectively.
Mr Caffrey said that Ms Sadlier’s legal team has been in contact with West Midlands Police, who had requested that Ms Sadlier travel for a voluntary interview under the condition that she would not be arrested. However, she has not returned.
Mr Justice Naidoo adjourned the matter to October 27th, for hearing, and fixed October 17th as the date for her legal team to lodge their submissions objecting to her surrender.