Page last updated at 18:40 GMT, Friday, 19 February 2010

Plane-spotters from Bristol detained in India

Stephen Hampton with his camera
Mr Hampton has photographed planes all over the world

Two plane-spotters from Bristol have been detained in India on suspicion of spying.

Stephen Hampton, from Keynsham, and Steven Ayres, from St George, sparked suspicion after asking a Delhi hotel for a room overlooking a runway.

The pair were carrying an air traffic control scanner, laptop, binoculars and cameras.

Dan Norris MP is liaising with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office to try to bring the pair home.

Mr Norris, MP for North East Somerset, said of 46-year-old Mr Hampton: "His family are distraught, ever so anxious and worried, understandably, that he can come home soon.

"My job is to try and make that happen with the support of the Foreign Office and our diplomats and officials."

The railway worker's mother, Eileen Cock, said he had travelled all over the world photographing aircraft.

Mrs Cock said she had been expecting her son to arrive home last Tuesday, but received a call from one of his friends to say he and a friend had been detained at the hotel at which they were staying.

Eileen Cock
Mrs Cock said she was just waiting for the telephone to ring

She said the scanning kit he was carrying was used to track incoming aircraft so they could photograph them at the best moment.

"He was under hotel arrest then for two days," Mrs Cock said.

"In the meantime I've been having various bits of information, both from Stephen and his friends, as to what was happening.

"The next thing I knew he rang me from a vehicle on his way to what I believe was a foreign registration office.

"Then, in great distress, he called me again (to say) that they had been taken to this place and that he didn't know what it was."

Mrs Cock said she believed her son was now at a deportation centre in Delhi.

"I had a rather frantic call the next day to say 'what could I do to please help him out?'," she said.

"I'm just going from minute to minute, hour to hour, waiting for the telephone to ring."

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