1. ITV Report

'Chennai Six' released from Chennai prison

From top left clockwise: Nick Dunn, Paul Towers, Nick Simpson, Ray Tindall, John Armstrong and Billy Irving. Photo: Chennai Six Campaign

Two former British soldiers from the North West have been released from an Indian prison four years after they were charged with weapons offences.

Paul Towers from Bootle and Ray Tindall from Chester are part of the so-called Chennai Six, and had been guards on a ship to combat piracy in the Indian Ocean.

They were jailed in October 2013 after being charged with smuggling weapons and ammunition but they won an appeal against their convictions on Monday.

The men are Mr Irving, 37, from Argyll and Bute, Nick Dunn, 31 from Northumberland, John Armstrong, 30, of Wigton, Cumbria, Nicholas Simpson, 47, of Catterick, North Yorkshire, Ray Tindall, 42, of Chester, and Paul Towers, 54, of Pocklington, East Yorkshire.

They could now face a wait of possibly several weeks before documentation comes through which will allow them to return to the UK.

The men were escorted out of Puzhal Central Prison by British consular officials and were taken by car to the Deputy High Commission.

They were all allowed to make phone calls home and are now dealing with the logistics of where they will be staying.

Speaking on the BBC's Victoria Derbyshire programme on Tuesday, Joanne Tomlinson, sister of Mr Armstrong, said:

He called me a couple of hours ago from the embassy.

"It was a very quick conversation and he spoke to my mum and dad as well.

"We were talking about where they are going to be staying and how he gets his belongings back which are being held by his friend in India.

"I'm hoping once he gets a proper meal into him we will be able to have a proper conversation."

– Joanne Tomlinson