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Father's plea to Islamic State: 'Please release my son'

The father of captured British journalist John Cantlie has urged Islamic State militants to return his son to safety. Mr Cantlie has made the appeal from his hospital bed.

"My family and I are trying to communicate with the Islamic State to deliver an important message regarding John, and can only hope that it has been received as we have had no response," Paul Cantlie said in a recorded statement.

My name is Paul Cantlie. My son John Henry Cantlie has been held as a prisoner by the Islamic State since 2012.

For the first time in almost two years, we saw John when he made a televised broadcast during which he told viewers that he was still a prisoner of the Islamic State and that maybe he will live and maybe he will die.

As a family we experienced great relief seeing and hearing John and knowing that he is alive. This was followed by the feeling of despair and helplessness.

He was seized in northern Syria, where he had been working as an independent photo journalist, seeking out the true story of the suffering of the Syrian people and ensuring the world was made aware of their plight.

John felt a strong need to help in the best way that he could: as an impartial and respected journalist he knew that he could make a difference by acting as a platform for the world to listen to and take notice, using his journalistic skills for the good of the people; as a friend and as a civilian. I have had many messages saying they cannot conceive what we, his family and all those who love him, must be feeling.

Speaking entirely for myself, this is not how I had imagined I would be passing my 81st year. I want John to know how very proud I am of him. I can think of no greater joy than seeing my dear son released and allowed to return home to us.

My family and I are trying to communicate with the Islamic state to deliver an important message regarding John and can only hope that it has been received as we have had no response.

To those holding John: please know that he is a good man, he sought only to help the Syrian people and I ask you from all that is sacred, to help us and allow him to return home safely to those he loves and who love him.


Robbers sentenced to prison

A trio of robbers have been jailed after holding a terrified child and his parents hostage in their own home.

Nigel Jarman, 59, of The Square, Birchington was sentenced to four-and-a-half years in jail for his role in the robbery in Faversham earlier this year.

Nigel Jarman has been jailed Credit: Kent Police

Darren Edwards, 38, of Stratford, London, and Raymond Wallace 40, of Old School Gardens, Margate, were imprisoned for four years and four months, and five years, respectively.

Darren Edwards has been jailed Credit: Kent Police
Raymond Wallace has been jailed Credit: Kent Police

The three men raided an address in Lion Field in May in a case of mistaken identity.

Wallace forced his way into the property where the family were living- once they had shown the offenders their tenancy agreement the robbers left with £70 in cash.

Police tracked down the offenders' getaway car and the trio were arrested a short time later.