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Sudanese man who 'walked length of Channel Tunnel' granted asylum in UK

Published 05/01/2016

Abdul Rahman Haroun is believed to have been found inside the 31-mile long tunnel near its exit at Folkestone.
Abdul Rahman Haroun is believed to have been found inside the 31-mile long tunnel near its exit at Folkestone.

A Sudanese man who entered Britain after apparently walking the length of the Channel Tunnel has been granted asylum.

Abdul Rahman Haroun, 40, is believed to have been found inside the 31-mile long tunnel near its exit at Folkestone, Kent, on August 4.

He was charged with causing an obstruction to an engine or carriage using the railway under the Malicious Damage Act 1861.

Haroun's caseworker, Sadie Castle, from Kent Defence, said he was granted asylum on Christmas Eve, and at a hearing at Canterbury Crown Court, prosecutors said they were considering whether to drop the charges in light of the decision.

Operator Eurotunnel said it was disappointed with the decision to grant asylum, as it may encourage others to attempt the same journey.

Spokesman John Keefe said: "We believe that it is something that can only act as an incentive to other illegal immigrants to seek to enter the country.

"We had hoped the authorities would use the full force of the law as a dissuasive measure."

Haroun was released on bail until another court hearing on January 18.

Countless migrants have risked their lives trying to enter the UK via the Channel Tunnel.

The crisis in Calais became part of a wider migrant surge in to Europe from countries in north Africa and the Middle East.

As of November at least 15 migrants had died in or near the Channel Tunnel since the start of the cross-Channel migrant crisis at the beginning of last summer.

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From Belfast Telegraph