Man accused of being US fugitive wanted for sex charges appoints fourth lawyer

A Covid-19 survivor wanted in the US for sex crimes has instructed a new lawyer who will consider the state of his client’s mental health.

Solicitor David Kinloch told Sheriff Chris Dickson that he’s been instructed by the man believed to be Nicholas Rossi, 34. Mr Kinloch told Edinburgh Sheriff Court on Wednesday that he’s made an application to the Scottish Legal Board for funding to allow him to fight the extradition battle.

Mr Kinloch also told the court that his client’s mental health may be an issue which will have to be considered by a court. Reports from the US press state that the man alleged to be Rossi was diagnosed with Narcissistic Personality Disorder as a teenager.

A man claiming mistaken identity who is fighting extradition to the United States on a rape charge is to have his fingerprints taken in a bid to prove who he is.

Medical experts say that people who have the condition experience exaggerated feelings of self-importance, an excessive need for admiration and a diminished ability to empathise with others’ feelings

Mr Kinloch said: “We are looking at a mental health situation. There’s a number of avenues which I need to look at.”

It is the latest episode in a long running extradition case. The man is currently remanded to HMP Edinburgh. He was first arrested on December 13 last year after being admitted to Glasgow’s Queen Elizabeth University Hospital for urgent treatment for Covid 19. He is said to have checked into the medical facility using the name Arthur Knight.

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He was traced following a tip off from Interpol whilst he was on a ventilator in intensive care. Law enforcement agencies in America claim that the man faked his own death to flee charges there and that he came to live in Scotland under an assumed identity. He is wanted in Utah over an allegation of sexual assault.

But the man says it’s a massive mistake - he says he’s called Arthur Knight and claims never to have been in America. The extradition court is expected to determine whether the man is Arthur Brown or Nicholas Rossi sometime later this year. During earlier proceedings the man has attended court in a wheelchair and has taken oxygen from a portable tank.

A prosecutor told Sheriff Kenneth Maciver QC that the man produced an Irish driving licence in the name of Arthur Knight. However, prosecutor Julie Clark said checks had been conducted with the Irish government and authorities there had no record of the document ever being “legitimately” issued.

The man was later detained after he allegedly acted aggressively towards staff at the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital in Glasgow. He was fined £400 following a trial at Glasgow Sheriff Court earlier this week.

Sheriff Joseph Platt heard how the man acted in an aggressive manner towards a consultant and senior charge nurse as they carried out their duties at the hospital. Mr Kinloch is the man’s fourth lawyer.

The male’s wife Miranda told reporters earlier this month that more than 150 solicitors have refused to represent him in his battle.

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She told the Times newspaper: “Everybody should be entitled to legal representation but my husband is being denied this basic human right. I have contacted around 150 solicitors but not one will take on his case.”

In May the man sacked his previous solicitor Becky Houston after she referred to him as “Mr Rossi” in court, prompting him to exclaim: “It’s Knight, Knight, Knight!”

He accused her of acting like “a mouse in the courtroom” and said: “When a solicitor calls her client by the name of another individual, whose identity is a key component of the case, that is inherently unhelpful.

“I’ve studied other trials and cases over the last six months and I’m prepared to be victorious.”

On Thursday, Mr Kinloch told the court that he needed more time to prepare for the case. He also said that he would also need time to see if the Scottish Legal Aid Board would grant him funding. He added: “I am instructed to appear in this case.”

Sheriff Chris Dickson agreed to continue the matter for another week.