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Protest at Indian embassy for release of ex-soldiers

John Armstrong

A protest was held at India's High Commission in London at 2pm today, Friday 16 June, to call for the release of six former British soldiers.

The men, including John Armstrong from Wigton, were jailed in India on firearm charges in 2013.

Prime Minister Theresa May agreed to bring up the case of the men during a state visit to India in late 2016.

The Prime Minister raised it with Indian Prime Minister Modi during her visit to India in November 2016, and the Foreign Secretary raised it with his Indian counterpart in January. On each occasion, they stressed the importance of seeing progress. To underline the importance of the case, the Chancellor of the Exchequer raised it when he met the Indian Finance Minister in April.

– Foreign & Commonwealth Office Spokesperson

In March 2017, John Armstrong told his family he had been beaten, attacked and injected with mystery drugs while in prison.

The men and their families have continued to maintain their innocence.

Concern for missing Wigton woman

Chereesa Gilbert Credit: Cumbria Police

Cumbria Police say they are becoming increasingly concerned for the welfare of Chereesa Gilbert from Wigton.

The 43-year-old has been missing since Wednesday, when she was last seen in the Brackenlands area of the town.

She's described as being five feet tall and of a slim build.

Anyone with information on her whereabouts is asked to contact Cumbria Police on 101.


Pedestrian injured in crash with unmanned Jaguar

The woman remains in hospital. Credit: PA

A pedestrian has been seriously injured, after a crash involving an unmanned vehicle in Wigton.

Police say that at around 11:34am an unmanned black Jaguar X-type collided with a blue Ford Tourneo, and a 38-year-old female pedestrian.

The incident happened at South End, in Wigton.

The woman was taken to hospital with a serious but non-life threatening injury.

No one else was hurt.

Family of imprisoned Wigton man spend fourth Christmas apart


The family of a man from Cumbria who was arrested and detained in India are facing a fourth Christmas without him.

John Armstrong, from Wigton, is one of six former British soldiers arrested on a ship in Indian waters in 2013. All were accused of weapons offences.

John's sister, Joanne Thomlinson, says it never gets any easier.

"We're going to try our best to celebrate but there's a huge space where John should be. They're not allowed to make any phone calls from the prison so it's only letter's we're receiving. Communication is really poor. We'll not hear anything more until January though because the courts have closed now."

– Joanne Thomlinson

Below is a timeline of events after their arrests in 2013.

  • Initially they were detained without trial.
  • All the charges were dropped in 2014, but the prosecution appealed
  • A court sentenced all six to five years in prison at the start of this year
  • The men have always maintained that they are innocent.

John's sister says the support the men receive keeps their spirits up.

"All of the support has been incredible. Not just for myself and the family but for all of the men. It can be such a lonely experience for them so every letter, Christmas message etc is all appreciated."

– Joanne Thomlinson

Joanne popped into the ITV Border office to have a picture taken with our Correspondent Tim Backshall. She said John was a big fan of Lookaround and he would enjoy seeing the photo in the new year.



Pound reaches record levels

Human pound sign in Wigton Credit: ITV Border

Nearly 1,600 people including local schoolchildren broke the world record for the biggest ever human pound sign in Wigton this morning.

The crowds gathered at Wigton Showfield for the stunt to recognise the town's role in the production of the new polymer £5 note.

The event was organised by North Allerdale Development Trust and smashed the previous record of 800 people.

Wigton-based Innovia is the firm behind the polymer technology used in the Bank of England's new £5 note.

Crowds gather in Wigton Credit: ITV Border

Police called to Wigton after reports of a body found

Police have been called to a street in Wigton after reports of a body found there.

Wigton Credit: Google maps

Officers arrived at the scene close to the Co-Op store on Station Road earlier tonight.

The police have confirmed that a body was found, however say at this stage they believe the person had died suddenly.

They have not released whether the person was a man or a woman and investigations are continuing.

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