Humberside

Hull oil worker Kristian Nicholson returns from Iraq

Kristian and Michelle Nicholson
Image caption The family had an emotional reunion on Mr Nicholson's return to the UK after several months in Iraq

An oil worker from Hull, forced to stay in Iraq pending a court case, has returned to the UK.

Kristian Nicholson, 39, had his passport confiscated by Iraqi police after a fatal car crash in January.

He received a six month suspended sentence in August but had to wait a further month for his passport to be returned.

He had been based in Irbil, Iraq, which has come under increasing attack from Islamic State (IS) militants.

Mr Nicholson, who worked as an intelligence analyst for an oil and gas company, said he had become increasingly concerned for his safety.

"If they [IS] think an aid worker is a prize, what is an ex-military intelligence analyst worth to them?"

Anxious wait

The father of three had been jailed in January following the crash in which one person died.

After his release in March he had to wait until early August for the outcome of his court case, but it took several more weeks before he could get his passport back.

Friends in Iraq had managed to ensure his passport was returned last week and was then deported by the Iraqi authorities.

His wife, Michelle, 37, said: "It has been hard, really worrying for everyone."

"It is just a real relief. It was getting scary over there and we just wanted him home as soon as possible."

Mr Nicholson said it had been an emotional reunion when he arrived back in Hull.

"As the train pulled in I saw a big banner and about 20 people waiting for me. I am just glad to be home."

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