A COUNTY Durham man is trying to secure the homecoming of a dad held in a Filipino jail for nine years.

Harry Plant, from Willington, has been working to secure the release of 53-year-old British man Kevin Taylor since he was imprisoned in 2009 and following his release is now trying to raise the funds needed to buy flights back to the UK.

Mr Taylor, originally from Swindon, was imprisoned, along with his Filipino wife Charlene, 39, after being convicted of defrauding jobseekers in the Philippines with promises of employment in the UK.

The former recruitment firm boss, who has previously said he did not commit any crime, was sentenced to 12 years in prison in 2009.

His lawyer Mauricio Ulep was able to secure their early release following changes to the law, after agreeing to take on the case on a no win, no fee basis.

Mr Plant, who lived in the Philippines for two years, became involved in the case because he is part of an expatriate group which gives help to people in the country.

Th 71-year-old said: “I’ve been involved with the campaign to release Kevin, along with his parents, since its inception.

“Now he has been released we are trying to raise money so he can come back to the UK.

“The embassy has said it might be three or four months but I hope it will be sooner than that.”

He added: “He must be deported because he is not allowed to be released into the general public so he is being held in an immigration centre until they can raise the money to get back.”

His wife said he was “happy and very excited” about the prospect of coming home.

Friends and family are trying to raise about £1,000 to cover the cost of air fares and legal documents.

Mr Taylor was initially arrested on the fraud charges in May 2009 and held for more than five years without trial.

In 2014, the couple were convicted and each sentenced to 12 years imprisonment.

It is understood Mr Taylor was released on Monday while his wife was released in September.

He is hoping to see his three daughters this weekend, including his youngest daughter who he will be meeting for the first time as she was born after he was sent to prison.

To find out more about the campaign email harryplant1@gmail.com.