A British student has been "sold down the river" by the Government, his mother has said after his extradition was approved by the Home Secretary, Theresa May, yesterday.

Richard O'Dwyer faces 10 years in jail if convicted by a United States court after prosecutors accused him of breaking copyright law by providing access to pirated material online via his website TVShack.

His mother, Julia O'Dwyer, accused the Government of "paving the way" for American prosecutors to come for the "young, old and the ill" as the news emerged.

She added: "Today, yet another British citizen is being sold down the river by the British Government. Richard's life, his studies, work opportunities, financial security, is being disrupted, for who knows how long, because the UK Government has not introduced the much-needed changes to the extradition law.

Advertisement

"If Richard appears to have committed a crime in this country, then try him in this country. Instead, the Home Secretary wants to send him thousands of miles away and leave him languishing, just like Chris Tappin [extradited last month], in a US jail, before he has a chance to demonstrate his innocence, under British law, of allegations made against him."

O'Dwyer, 23, allegedly made £147,000 ($281,330) running his site. Although no charges were brought against him in Britain, he became the latest British citizen to face extradition after a crackdown on online piracy by US authorities.

Prime Minister David Cameron is under pressure to address the "one-sided" extradition agreement with the US during meetings with US President Barack Obama this week.

Julia O'Dwyer said: "I don't blame America. They do it because they can because our law leaves the gates wide open. This is fully the responsibility of our Government - the last Government for doing this law and this Government for not acting to do the promised amendments to it."

- Independent