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Tappin 'serves out jail term in UK'
Christopher Tappin was jailed in the US for arms dealing and who has reportedly returned to the UK to serve the remainder of his sentence
A British businessman jailed in the US for arms dealing has reportedly returned to the UK to serve the remainder of his sentence.
Christopher Tappin was extradited last year and eventually pleaded guilty to one count of aiding and abetting the illegal export of defence articles under a so-called plea bargain with US prosecutors.
He was sentenced to 33 months in prison and fined 11,357.14 dollars (£7,095) in January.
Then, US District Judge David Briones recommended that Tappin, from Orpington, Kent, should be allowed to serve his sentence in the UK.
His lawyer, Karen Todner, appeared to confirm his return on Twitter.
She told the BBC : "For six weeks while his repatriation was being approved, he was moved to the Metropolitan Correctional Centre in New York, a prison which is teeming with rats and run by gangs.
"Mr Tappin is an upstanding, proud man and he told me he just tried to stay in the background there.
"After that, his hands and feet were shackled while he was taken to JFK Airport to be flown home. His family are relieved he is back, particularly as he suffers chest problems."
At the court hearing in El Paso, Texas, Tappin was told he would commence his sentence at the Allenwood prison in Pennsylvania.
He previously denied attempting to sell batteries for surface-to-air missiles which were to be shipped from the US to Tehran via the Netherlands.
But he later admitted that, between December 2005 and January 2007, he knowingly aided and abetted others in an illegal attempt to export zinc/silver oxide reserve batteries, a special component of the Hawk Air Defence Missile, to Iran.
The former president of the Kent Golf Union was originally thought to have faced up to 35 years in jail if found guilty.
The father of two fought against his extradition, taking his case all the way to the European Court of Human Rights in a last-ditch effort to remain in the UK.
He failed and was taken to the US in February last year, where he spent a couple of months in a New Mexico jail before being released on bail.
Tappin told reporters he almost had a breakdown after 10 ''barbaric'' days in solitary confinement and said he was deprived of food and access to the British consul.
His case fuelled the row over the fairness of the extradition treaty between the UK and the US.