By Calvin Palmer
A Los Angeles judge yesterday approved the extradition to the UK of a former Catholic priest suspected of sexually abusing boys.
James Robinson, 71, is accused of abusing four boys in the 1970s and 1980s when he worked in Birmingham, Coventry Sutton Coldfield and the Black Country.
U.S. authorities were acting on a request from police and prosecutors in the West Midlands.
Police issued an arrest warrant against Robinson in August after he was tracked down by a BBC program and challenged in person by one of his accusers.
He was arrested by U.S. marshals in Duarte, Los Angeles County on January 26.
The judge’s ruling gives Robinson 60 days to appeal.
Robinson moved to California in 1985 amid allegations he abused boys while training at Oscott College, Sutton Coldfield, as parish priest at St Elizabeth’s in Foleshill, and then at the Our Lady of Lourdes Church, in Cradley Heath.
He was defrocked eight years later after the then Catholic Archbishop of Birmingham, the Most Rev Maurice Couve de Murville, wrote to U.S. church leaders.
Five people from Coventry and Birmingham have previously complained to police about Robinson. At least two men from Coventry have claimed they were sexually abused as boys by him.
They were later given compensation by the archdiocese of about £25,000.
A spokesman for West Midlands Police said: “This extradition order means that the paperwork will now be completed ready for his return to the UK.
“It is anticipated that this will be within a two-month framework. He still has the opportunity of appeal.
“West Midlands Police have spoken with those who have made allegations as part of this investigation and we will continue to update them as the extradition progresses.”