Formula 1 heiress Tamara Ecclestone is "sick with worry" after her husband has been charged with helping a drug trafficker. Jay Rutland, 34, has been accused of assisting drug lord James Tarrant avoid capture.

Scotland Yard confirmed on 20 February night that Rutland was arrested and charged earlier in the week. The offence allegedly took place in 2010 as Tarrant was on the run for five years after fleeing the UK in 2009. He handed himself into the police in Netherlands in 2015, but had already been sentenced in his absence to 14 years in jail in 2010.

The 66-year-old drug lord from Essex was one of eight "most wanted" British criminals and had been featured on BBC Crimestoppers. He fled the UK after being arrested in 2009 when drugs, a gun and cash were found at a house in Waltham Abbey. He was extradited from Holland after turning himself in. It remains unclear how Rutland assisted Tarrant with his escape.

A Metropolitan Police spokeswoman confirmed that Rutland, from Kensington in West London, had been failed and is due to appear at the Thames Magistrates' Court on 16 March. Ecclestone is said to be "very concerned" about her husband possibly facing a jail term of up to seven years, the Mirror reported.

A source told the Mirror: "The accusations are very serious and Jay knows that if he is convicted he could end up going away. Tamara is sick with worry about him being banged up but is putting a brave face on it. She is understandably very concerned about Jay and what could happen."

The couple got married in 2013 and have a 23-month-old daughter together.