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Former soldiers denied bail in India

It's being reported that former soldiers who were sentenced to five years in an Indian prison, including John Armstrong from Wigton, have been refused bail.

John Armstrong. Credit: ITV Border

The men were reportedly told the court had rejected their application earlier today.

The court said the arguments for bail would only be heard during the main appeal hearing, scheduled for June.

From May 1-31 the courts are closed for summer vacation.

The men's families say they are devastated. They have launched a website to campaign for the men's release, which is being backed by seafarers' charities.


Case of Cumbrian man imprisoned in India raised at European Parliament

John Armstrong from Wigton was jailed for 5 years earlier this month in India. Credit: ITV News

The situation of a Cumbrian man imprisoned in India on weapons charges has been raised at the European Parliament.

John Armstrong from Wigton and five colleagues were working on anti-piracy duties when they were detained in October 2013. Earlier this month they were jailed for five years.

UKIP MEP Jonathan Arnott has called on the Indian government to review the case and release the six men.

WATCH: sister of Cumbrian jailed in India speaks out

The sister of John Armstrong, who has been sentenced to five years in prison in India, says she was "shocked" by the verdict.

The families of the six British men, who were arrested in 2013 while working as anti-piracy guards, were expecting a 'not guilty' verdict, and the men to be released.

But John's sister, Joanne Thomlinson, says she'll keep on fighting to free him, and is planning an appeal. Greg Hoare went to meet her:

Cumbrian man jailed for five years in India

John Armstrong. Credit: ITV Border

A man from Wigton has been sentenced to five years in an Indian prison.

John Armstrong had been working as an anti-piracy guard in the Indian Ocean, when he and five other British men were intercepted by the Indian Coastguard.

They were interrogated under suspicion of a series of weapons offences, and spent six months in prison, before being granted bail.

Charges against the men were quashed in July 2014, however a court in Tuticorin has now convicted the men, and given them five year jail terms.

The men and their families are reportedly now seeking urgent legal advice.


Galashiels couple "thankful" to return from Indian rail crash

Ian and Helen Calder Credit: Helen Calder

A Galashiels couple on board an Indian train that derailed say they are thankful to be back home after the ordeal.

Ian and Helen Calder were on the trip of a lifetime when the train they were travelling on came off the tracks.

Two British women died and others were injured.

There was 15 of us in that carriage, most of them were catapulted out their seats, were flying in all directions. Some left the train out the windows.

One gentleman that was travelling next to us, he went up in the air and Ian managed to catch him as he was going out the window and I grabbed hold of him as well, and we managed to pull him back onto our knee.

He certainly saved us I think because the weight of him on top of us held us but he sustained quite serious head injuries. We are very thankful, very lucky to be home."

– Helen Calder

Galashiels couple survive Indian rail crash

The Galashiels couple survived Indian rail crash Credit: PA

A couple from Galashiels are on their way back to the Borders after surviving a train crash during a dream holiday to India.

Helen and Ian Calder, who own the Salmon Inn public house in Galashiels, escaped serious injury after managing to clamber free from the wreckage.

Two other British holidaymakers died when the train came off the tracks on Saturday as it travelled from Kalka to the Himalayan town of Shimla as part of an organised tour.

There were 36 passengers plus their tour manager on the service, which was being operated by York-based company Great Rail Journeys. They were on their third day of a 3 week trip.

Sixty year old Ian had x-rays of his back and shoulders and both he and Helen are said to be traumatised at what happened. The couple are due back in the UK on Tuesday evening.

Sister of man trapped in India: "He'll be home for Christmas"

The sister of a Wigton man who's been trapped in India for nearly 2 years says she hopes he'll be back in time for Christmas.

John Armstrong has been unable to leave India since he was arrested in October 2013.

His friends held a charity rugby match that has raised hundreds of pounds to help him fight his legal case.

Mr Armstrong was working as an anti-piracy guard, transitioning ships through a high risk part of the Indian Ocean.

The Indian authorities say the ship he was travelling in had been illegally sailing in Indian waters, something Mr Armstrong and five other British men who were also arrested, deny.

His trial is due to start in two weeks' time.

His sister, Joanne Thomlinson, says the family are expecting it to take months but are hopeful he will be cleared.

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