Man’s ‘fingerprints match those of fugitive thought to have faked own death’
A man who wound up in court accused of threatening hospital staff in Scotland is wanted by US prosecutors after they say he faked his death and fled to the country.
Arthur Knight, whom US prosecutors claim is Nicholas Rossi, appeared at Glasgow Sheriff Court yesterday charged with acting aggressively towards a consultant and senior charge nurse at the city’s Queen Elizabeth University Hospital (QEUH).
He had behaved like a “raging” bull and left a doctor “trembling with fear”, the court heard.
The man, whose identity is still disputed, denied the charges and was remanded in custody to face trial at a later date.
During the hearing, prosecutors said the defendant shouldn’t get bail because his fingerprints matched those of a US fugitive named Nicholas Rossi.
Rossi is wanted over the rape of a 21-year-old woman in Utah in September 2008 and is alleged to have faked his death and fled to Scotland to evade the charge.
Defence lawyer Munawar Ali argued at the Glasgow hearing that his client was a suitable candidate for bail.
However, prosecutor Julie Clark said the defendant posed “a serious risk of failing to appear at any hearing, a substantial risk of re-offending and a substantial risk of obstructing the course of justice”.
She told the court: “He has at least 10 aliases and is known in the US as Nicholas Rossi or Alahverdian and speaks in an American accent.
“He is known by his wife’s family as Nicholas Brown and speaks in an Irish accent.
“He is recorded at the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital as Arthur Winston Brown and identified himself on Tuesday as Arthur Knight and speaks in an English accent.”
She added: “He appears today as Arthur Knight but has previously been identified by medical professionals and civilians as Nicholas Rossi.”
Ms Clark said Rossi is a registered sex offender in the US and wanted for other crimes including fraud, sexual battery and evading justice.
She added: “Fingerprints taken when he was arrested for this matter were confirmed to be Nicholas Rossi.”
The defendant was heard shouting “that’s not true” during the proceedings.
The Sheriff asked the defendant multiple times to be quiet.
The court heard how he previously failed to show up in court via video link.
Ms Clark then spoke of a medical note she had in her evidence, saying: “The most recent one (note) said there was no concern relating to his lungs and the description of seizures were faked.
“Having taken unwell last night, this man again became unwell, was taken to QEUH and, when seen by a doctor this morning, was discharged and deemed fit for the court.
“This is a man who has repeatedly told the court, Crown and the press that he is unfit for extradition.”
The accused could then be heard at the end saying: “I am not Nicholas Rossi, and the problem here is that the medical records state I have fundamental epilepsy, not fake seizures.”
Defending the accused, Mr Ali said he should be granted bail because of his previous conviction and his health and said the other allegations made against his client should not be considered when deciding on matters related to the hospital disturbance.
Addressing the defendant, Sheriff MacMillan said: “I think there is merit in what the procurator fiscal said.
“There are possibilities that I have to take into account and there is a possibility that you may abscond or fail to appear at a hearing – there is a substantial risk of that.”
A legal case considering extradition was due to be heard yesterday but has been postponed until next week.