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Saturday, 15 December, 2001, 13:22 GMT
Looking forward to Christmas at home
The Coppins are looking forward to a curry
The British plane-spotters held in Greece on spying charges have said they will relax and enjoy Christmas before tackling the next stage of the legal process.

Graham Arnold, from Ottershaw, Surrey, said the group had been fearing they would still be in jail over the Christmas period.

He said: "Luckily it has turned out OK. But we still have to go back to Greece and it doesn't look very likely that they are going to drop the charges.

"What I am going to do now is go home, see the cat, sit down indoors and not worry about being banged up at midday everyday."

Steven Rush hugs daughter Isla
Steven Rush: Wants to see family and watch Chelsea
Steven Rush, 38, of Caterham, Surrey, said he was looking forward to being reunited with his family - and going to watch Chelsea on Sunday.

He said football had kept him going during his 37 days in jail, because it was something people of all nations could talk about.

"One of the only lighter moments was when we watched a Chelsea match in an Albanian guy's cell, who was serving 16 years for murdering someone with a Kalashnikov," he said.

Michael Bussell, 47, of Swanland, near Hull, said the group were all looking forward to the normal things in life like "hot water and being warm".

"I'm looking forward to being able to trim my moustache. I've not been allowed any sharp instruments for the last 37 days."

Mike Bussell waves to cameras at Luton airport
Mike Bussell: Conditions in jail were rough
He described their time in prison as rough, saying the food was poor and they slept on a hard floor.

"There was one day when we were given cabbage soup and another when Sunday lunch was two hard-boiled eggs.

"We watched a lot of Greek soaps and the Greek version of Big Brother, which was almost as much a punishment as sleeping on a hard floor."

'Health problems'

Gary Fagan, 28, from Kegworth, Leicestershire, said being back was the "best feeling ever".

He said: "We have been looking forward to this moment for the last five weeks now and to be back here - well, I can't put it into words.

"Being locked up for five weeks really takes its toll on you. We've had health problems and we've had our ups and downs."

Graham Arnold with his mother Mary
Graham Arnold thought he may have missed Christmas
Paul Coppin, 45, from Mildenhall in Suffolk, who led the trip, said he was looking forward to having a "roast dinner on Sunday".

His wife Lesley, 51, said she was thinking slightly further ahead as there were three little boys in her family which "needed Christmas organising".

'Regular Christmas'

Her son Steve Warren, 32, from Lakenheath, Suffolk, said: "We are going to have a slap up curry - not a kebab.

"This has been the lowest part of her life. It was terrifying for her when they were taken to prison.

"Now we are going to spend as much time together as we can. We are going to set ourselves up for a regular Christmas."

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