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Cumbrian man detained in India expected to stand trial

Credit: John Armstrong

A man from Cumbria who has been detained in India for 21 months over alleged weapons offences has been told this morning he will go on trial.

John Armstrong, from Wigton, was one of six Britons detained in October 2013.

The charges were later dropped, but police in India appealed that decision and that appeal has now been upheld.

The men, who were part of a crew providing security for shipping, strongly deny the charges.

Further delay for Wigton man trapped in India

Police escorted the bus in which the men were held, when first arrested.

The fate of a Cumbrian man trapped in India remains in the balance, after judges there decided to postpone a decision on whether police could reinstate charges, for up to a fortnight.

John Armstrong from Wigton, and five other men, were originally held on weapons offences in October 2013.

Those charges were dropped, but their passports have been withheld since police in India have challenged that decision.

The men's families say they're disappointed with today's outcome, but remain hopeful they'll be home soon.


John Armstrong: decision due on Cumbrian trapped in India

John Armstrong

A man from Wigton who has been trapped in India for more than 18 months, could get his passport back today.

John Armstrong was one of six British men arrested on suspected weapons offences in October, 2013.

The men were cleared of all charges, but police refused to return their passports, and they have been trapped in India ever since.

A hearing takes place at the Supreme Court in Delhi today, in which the judge is expected to decide whether the police can get charges reinstated against the men.

If the charges are not reinstated, that could pave the way for the return of the men's passports.

Hearing of Cumbrian man detained in India is adjourned

John Armstrong Credit: ITV Border

The hearing of a Cumbrian man fighting to get home from India has been adjourned until April 22 by the country's Supreme Court.

John Armstrong, from Wigton, was arrested 18 months ago with five other British men after they were charged with illegally holding weapons.

The charges were dropped in July 2014, but an attempt by police to have them reinstated has blocked their return to the UK.

It was hoped a hearing in Delhi this morning would clear the way for them to finally come home, but the hearing has now been adjourned.

Since his arrest, John's family and community have held fundraisers to raise money for his living and legal costs.

Cumbrian man trapped in India could soon be free

Mr Armstrong's case is being reviewed in a court tomorrow Credit: ITV Border

The family of a Cumbrian man who's been trapped in India since 2013 say they are hopeful he could soon be home.

John Armstrong, from Wigton, was arrested 18 months ago alongside five other men. They were charged with illegally holding weapons on board a ship.

Mr Armstrong was cleared of any wrong doing and his case is being reviewed in a court tomorrow.

FCO 'raising the case at the highest levels'

The Foreign Office has told ITV Border it is continuing to raise the case of the six British men at the highest levels but cannot interfere in the judicial process. Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond is currently on a visit to India.

"Since the prosecution appealed, we have lobbied regularly and at the highest levels on the importance of ensuring that this case is resolved as quickly as possible.While we cannot interfere in the judicial process, it has been progressed faster than would otherwise have been the case in India. We continue to update the men and their families regularly on developments."

– Foreign and Commonwealth Office


Fundraiser for Cumbrian stranded in India

The family of a man from Cumbria, who's been stranded in India for a year, want the UK Government to put more pressure on the Indian authorities.

An event was held in Wigton yesterday to raise money for John Armstrong, who was arrested on firearms offences while working as a security guard, protecting ships from piracy.

But his family say they're not being told enough about what is happening to try to get him home.

Neil Billingham reports.

Bowling club packed to support local man

It's a year since a Cumbrian security guard was arrested in India on suspected firearms offences.

John Armstrong, from Wigton, had been carrying out anti-piracy work on an American-owned ship and was arrested while in port in Chennai along with his colleagues.

Despite being freed from prison and the charges being dropped the authorities are challenging the decision which means he is unable to leave the country.

His family in friends in Wigton have a held a fundraiser to try to help him pay his ongoing costs in India, including hotel bills and legal fees. They packed the town's bowling club to show their support for him.

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