Sis­ter prays jus­tice will pre­vail for Nick


Sunday Sun - - News - By Michael Mun­caster Re­porter michael.mun­[email protected]­i­tymir­

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.

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