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Channel Tunnel asylum walker due in court

A Sudanese man granted asylum in Britain after apparently walking through the Channel Tunnel from France will appear in court.

Abdul Rahman Haroun who's 40, is expected to learn whether prosecutors plan to drop their criminal case against him following his asylum win.

Abdul Rahman Haroun walked the length of the Channel Tunnel Credit: ITV Meridian

He was charged with causing an obstruction to an engine or carriage using the railway under the Malicious Damage Act 1861 after being arrested in Folkestone last August.

But earlier this month at a hearing at Canterbury Crown Court it emerged that Haroun had been granted permission to stay in Britain on Christmas Eve. Channel Tunnel operator Eurotunnel said it was disappointed with the decision, saying granting him asylum may encourage others to attempt the same perilous journey.

Haroun, who is on bail, will appear at Canterbury Crown Court in front of Judge Adele Williams from 2pm this afternoon.

Channel Tunnel walker given refugee status - Canterbury Crown Court told

Abdul Haroun has been granted conditional bail and prosecutors given two weeks to decide whether to continue with the prosecution. The court was told that Mr Haroun was granted asylum on Christmas Eve.

He is charged with causing an obstruction to a train using the railway under the Malicious Damage Act 1861. Mr Haroun was arrested in August last year just steps away from the Folkestone entrance to the tunnel.

This is believed to be the first incident of a migrant successfully managing to walk the length of the Channel Tunnel.

The case has been adjourned to January 18.


Portsmouth City Council vote 'no' to more asylum seekers

Portsmouth City Council has voted to send a letter to the Government saying the city can't take any more refugees.

The urgent debate held earlier comes after Conservative Council leader Donna Jones says the city has done its fair share to help asylum seekers. Protesters gathered outside the city's guildhall.

Our reporter Sam Holder was there.

BREAKING: Portsmouth Council says 'no' to more refugees

Councillors in Portsmouth have voted to send a letter to the Government asking to be taken off the list of cluster areas for asylum seekers.

In an urgent debate held tonight the decision to send the controversial letter to the Government asking for the city to be removed from the list will be taken.

In the first quarter of this year 43 percent of asylum seekers housed in the South East of England were given accommodation in Portsmouth.

The council says the costs are only partially reimbursed by central government. But the British Red Cross says now is the worst time for the city to withdraw.

Emergency debate underway in Portsmouth over future of asylum seekers

Protesters campaign for compassion for asylum seekers Credit: ITV

An emergency debate is underway tonight over whether or not Portsmouth should close the door on asylum seekers.

The city became a cluster area for refugees 15 years ago, along with other cities, to ease pressure on London. But Conservative Council leader Donna Jones has told the Government Portsmouth has done its fair share and does not have the capacity to take anymore. The British Red Cross says it is the worst time for the city to withdraw. Andrew Pate is at the meeting.


Brighton and Hove named "Sanctuary on Sea" for welcoming refugees fleeing conflict and persecution

"Asylum seeker" has become an emotive term in recent years, and the reasons people seek safety here aren't always fully understood.

The city of Brighton and Hove has a long history of accommodating refugees, and now it's been named "Sanctuary on Sea" in recognition of its work to welcome victims of conflict and persecution abroad.

Malcolm Shaw spoke to Reem Abushawareb from Iraq, Sylvie Collier of Pond Pictures, Jenny Lansdell, Chair of Sanctuary on Sea, and Teresa Gomez from Chile.

More than 100 asylum seekers moved to Kent hotel

More than 100 asylum seekers have been moved to a hotel in Kent to ease overcrowding at a hotel in London.

The Home Office confirmed 130 people have been transferred to the Grand Burstin Hotel in Folkestone but says it is a temporary measure, and they will be there for a maximum of two weeks.

Shepway District Council says it's working with partner agencies to monitor the situation.

Moves to help asylum seekers

One of the South East's asylum seeker support groups says it's essential that refugees in Calais are given accommodation and support - and Britain must do more to help.

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