Police fly to interview runaway boy, 14 of 14

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British detectives hope to speak today to the 14-year-old boy who ran off to America with his best friend's mother.

Nottinghamshire police flew to Florida yesterday after Sean Kinsella and Tracey Whalin, a mother-of-three, were discovered in Florida Keys. Mrs Whalin, 33, from Bilborough, Nottingham, appeared in court on Thursday in handcuffs charged with a offences including carrying out a lewd or indecent assault on a child.

Detectives want to speak to Sean before meeting with US prosecutors on Monday to discuss the case. It is thought they will press for Mrs Whalin to be tried in Britain, although the American authorities are expected to resist such a move.

Monroe County assistant state attorney Rayme Suarez has said Mrs Whalin must go through the local courts before any extradition request can be granted.

A Nottinghamshire police spokesman said: "Our officers will speak with local police and prosecutors. If they agree to return Mrs Whalin to this country she will be interviewed and one of the charges she may face is abduction.

"Obviously, until she has been interviewed over here, it is impossible to say exactly what charges she may or may not face."

Mrs Whalin disappeared with Sean 12 days ago and fears were raised when a passport was issued in his name the same day. They flew to America and were staying in a pounds 100-a-night beachside apartment when they were discovered by US police. She now faces up to 20 years in jail under American law - 15 years if found guilty of an assault and a further five if convicted of taking a child without the parents' permission. However, if Sean was deemed to have gone away willingly, lawyers suggested that Whalin's alleged offences might be regarded less seriously.

A Foreign Office spokesman said consular officials in Florida had requested access to Mrs Whalin.

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