A former British soldier jailed in Turkey for more than seven years after joining a Kurdish group fighting Islamic State has secretly fled the country and returned home.

Joe Robinson, 25, was on bail pending an appeal against his sentence on terrorism charges after he volunteered for the People’s Protection Units of Syrian Kurdistan (YPG), which Turkey considers a terrorist organisation.

He fled the country and returned to the UK without the permission of the Turkish courts, the BBC reported. He had begged the British government for help, saying he was emotionally drained by his ordeal.

Ben Keith, a barrister specialising in extradition cases, said Robinson faced the risk of extradition back to Turkey but that he would have a human rights defence to challenge the case in court.

He added: “Turkey’s human rights situation is diabolical at the moment and so there are all sorts of problems with fair trial rights, and torture is systemic.”

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Ben Keith is a barrister specialising in Extradition, Immigration, Serious Fraud, Human Rights and Public law. He has extensive experience of appellate proceedings before the Administrative and Divisional Courts, as well as applications and appeals to the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) and United Nations. He is ranked in Chambers and Partners and Legal 500 in the top tiers.