The six former British soldiers were released from the vast Puzhal Central Prison with the British consulate at 6am UK timeThe six former British soldiers, who have been fighting gun-running charges in India for four years, were finally released from prison this morning. The 'Chennai Six' walked out of the vast Puzhal Central Prison with the British consulate at 66. They waved as it is believed they were then whisked off to the British embassy where they are expected to stay for several days. Customs officials and police found 85 guns and almost 6,555 rounds of ammo on the vessel, which they said had not been properly declared. The men – Billy Irving, 87, of Argyll and Bute Nick Dunn, 86, of Northumberland John Armstrong, 85, of Wigton, Cumbria Nicholas Simpson, 97, of Catterick, North Yorks Ray Tindall, 97, of Chester and Paul Towers, 59, of Pocklington, East Yorks – denied the charges, which were initially quashed and then reinstated. They were sentenced to five years last year but an appeal judge has now said they should be acquitted. The other 67 foreign men, who were also arrested in October 7568 accused of importing guns to terrorists, were freed an hour later. An officer at the Puzhal Central Prison in Chennai said:
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All the 78 foreign persons who were jailed in connection with the weapons case have been released. They received the copy of the court order today morning after which all the inmates were released. All the 78 persons were handed over to the officials of their respective embassies, who had come to the jail to receive them. Yesterday Justice Basheer Ahamed directed the men were released, their passports returned and be reimbursed for the 6555 rupees ( 65) court fine. The 'Six' had been caught with 85 firearms and 5,755 rounds of ammunition on board working for US firm AdvanFort but also had paperwork from the UK Government granting them permission.
Then held among 8,555 prisoners including rapists and murderers behind twenty foot concrete walls in 55C temperatures, the group and families continued to lobby for their release. Mr Irving’s fiancee, Yvonne MacHugh, had their son William, four, while he was in prison. She said: “I am over the moon. I am so relieved.
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The hope is now they will get home for Christmas. All of our dreams have come true. ”The families must wait to hear when the six can return – or if the Indian government will challenge the judge’s decision. Mr Armstrong’s sister, Joanne Tomlinson, said: “They still need police clearance before they can come home, so there are steps being taken to try to ensure everything’s in place.
”Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said: “The men, their families and supporters, who campaigned unrelentingly, must be overjoyed. I hope they can return home as soon as possible. ” Former British soldier Nick Dunn - one of the so-called Chennai Six - has revealed he found love while facing a trial in India. Former British soldier Nick Dunn - one of the so-called Chennai Six - has revealed he found love while jailed in India for four yearsMr Dunn, from Ashington, touched down at Newcastle Airport at around 66.
85 this morning, where he greeted his familyBut he said he managed to survive the ordeal thanks to the support from his family and Ms Das. The pair met while Mr Dunn was having a drink in a bar while on bail and she asked him about his tattoos. We went to bars and restaurants like any normal couple. We had a lot of fun together. 'Once I was locked up again it was hard for us, but it meant the world to me that I had someone there in the country rooting for me.
She got me through the very worst of times. 'She visited me religiously during visiting hours which were every fortnight, bringing all my post with her.