Extradition of former Northfleet Sainsbury's store manager Sean Lopes is one order away

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ONE of America’s most wanted men found to be working in a Sainsbury’s store in Northfleet is now just one order away from being extradited.

Sean Lopes went on the run in November 2004 before his trial for the attempted murder and kidnapping of his then 22-year-old former girlfriend.

The 47-year-old skipped out on his $250,000 bail and was convicted in his absence in 2005.

He was sentenced to 15 years in prison as well as two one-year sentences to run concurrently for weapons offences.

But in May he was found working as a store manager in Pepper Hill, and living in Victoria Road, Chatham.

At a Westminster Magistrates’ Court hearing on October 23, his defence argued he should face a retrial because he is "severely mentally disturbed".

Ben Cooper, defending, said Lopes had been treated at a mental health facility in New York before the offence occurred.

He asked the court to delay the extradition hearing until the necessary evidence and a psychiatric assessment could be obtained to prove the defendant’s absence was not voluntary.

But District Judge Quentin Purdy said he failed to see how Lopes was not functioning properly when he went on the run as he appeared in court in October 2004 but failed to show up a month later.

At an extradition hearing on December 5 a district judge at Westminster Magistrates’ Court ruled there were no legal barriers to his being sent back to the US.

Home Secretary Teresa May has two months from the date of the ruling to decide whether to order an extradition.


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