A CHURCH missionary from North Yorkshire jailed in the UK for child sex crimes will be allowed to return to his Asian home on his release, appeal judges have ruled.

Craig Martin Burrows, 50, who was awarded an MBE for his charity work with underprivileged children in the Philippines, was jailed in June this year.

Two women told how he had subjected them to disgraceful abuse while living in Richmond, North Yorkshire, in the 1980s.

He was jailed for five years at Teesside Crown Court, but also hit with a foreign travel ban, preventing him returning to his home in Asia.

But on Thursday, after an appeal in London, three senior judges said there was no reason why Burrows should not be allowed to go back when he is freed.

Giving judgment, Mr Justice Hickinbottom said there was no evidence Burrows had been in Asia for child sex tourism.

However, he said the five-year term which he received for five indecent assaults and two counts of gross indecency was fully justified for the abuse.

The Court of Appeal heard Burrows was originally from Richmond and was sponsored as a young man to go to the Philippines as a missionary.

He built a life there, owned a house and was married, but returned immediately when child sex allegations were made.

A woman said he had subjected her to a string of sex attacks when she was only 13 in the mid-1980s in Richmond.

And another victim, only nine or ten at the time of the incident, alleged a further assault around the same time.

Burrows denied all allegations, but evidence was also put forward from another girl who accused him of abusing her while in Asia, although he was not charged as it allegedly happened abroad.

His barrister, Nigel Soppitt, said that the sentence he received was too tough.

And he said banning him from going to 11 Asian countries was unnecessary.

All reports about his conduct after the 1990s had been "very very positive", he said, and references were "astounding".

"Throughout his time in the Philippines, he has been an altruistic and hardworking man, devoting his life to assisting those less fortunate than him," he said.

"The Philippines is his home. He has been there many years, he has a wife who lives there. He would dearly like to return once his sentence is served."

Quashing the travel ban but upholding the sentence, the appeal judge, sitting with Lady Justice Rafferty and Judge Alistair McCreath, said the five-year term was "severe", but not too long.

But he continued: "There is no evidence he travelled to the Philippines or any other particular country with the intention of committing such offences or to increase his opportunity to do so."