Sister prays justice will prevail for Nick
EX-SOLDIER WILL FIND OUT HIS FATE TOMORROW MORNING
SHE has fought tirelessly for four years to secure her brother’s freedom.
Now, Lisa Dunn faces an agonising wait as former soldier Nick Dunn prepares to find out tomorrow if he can finally return home.
Loved ones of Mr Dunn and five other men, known as the Chennai Six, have been campaigning for their release from a prison in Chennai, India, since they were arrested in October 2013.
The ex-servicemen, who a British lawyer said are victims of a miscarriage of justice, were first jailed on weapons charges while working as security guards on ships to combat piracy in the Indian Ocean.
Ms Dunn, from Ashington, Northumberland, said she hopes that justice will prevail and bring an end to four years of hell for the men.
“We definitely feel like this is the final hurdle,” she said. “Nick is really hopeful and we’re trying to keep as positive as we can.
“If we get a good verdict then I’m going to fly out to India the following day.
“He could be released in a couple of days and I want to see him walk out of prison with his head held high.
“I need to be out there with him. We are just hoping and praying that the judge makes the right decision.”
The five other men are Billy Irving, 37, of Oban, Scotland, John Armstrong, 30, of Wigton, Cumbria, Nicholas Simpson, 47, of Catterick, North Yorkshire; Ray Tindall, 42, of Chester; Paul Towers, 54, originally from Bootle, but living in Pocklington, East Yorkshire. Lisa and Nick Dunn in happier times In 2013 the Indian coastguard boarded their vessel, the MV Seaman Guard Ohio, and arrested the men for taking weapons into India’s territorial waters.
The charges were initially quashed when the men argued the weapons were lawfully held for anti-piracy purposes and their paperwork, issued by the UK Government, was in order.
But a lower court reinstated the prosecution and they were convicted in January last year and sentenced to five years jail.
Since then there has been a series of appeals as the families navigate the Indian legal system.
Recalling the last four years, Ms Dunn said: “I feel so emotionally drained and when you realise it has been so long, it feels surreal.
“In one way it feels like the case has dragged on but at the same time our lives stopped in 2013.
“We are desperate for the right decision to be made and I’m excited that Nick could be home for Christmas.”
Tomorrow’s appeal is expected to take place at around 5am UK time.