Three days before the Chennai Six, including Nick Dunn from Ashington, were released from prison in India, there was an excellent turnout for an event at Bank House Club in Newbiggin.
Hosted by the XXXX Crew Motorcycle Club (MC), it was a fund-raiser for the men and their families.
The Chennai Six were part of a crew of 35 on board the anti-piracy ship MV Seaman Guard Ohio who were arrested by Indian authorities in October 2013 and then detained.
The charges were quashed in April 2014, but Indian police appealed the decision and this meant that the crew had to stay in the Asian country. They were then jailed by a judge in January 2016.
The judge for the crew’s appeal ruled on Monday that all charges against the 35 men be dropped with immediate effect and the fines they were ordered to pay be refunded.
The Chennai Six were escorted out of Chennai Central Prison on Tuesday by British consulate officials, who said they are discussing the next step with the Indian authorities.
The event last Saturday night included live music, a comedian, raffles and a prize draw – the presentation for the prize draw was made by Nick Dunn’s sister, Lisa, and prominent Chennai Six supporter John Bowe, who plays Lawrence White in Emmerdale.
A XXXX Crew MC spokesman said: “The event surpassed all of our expectations and we would like to thank everyone who contributed.
“The kindness and generosity of all involved has helped to raise a little over £4,000 in one night.
“We all hope the lads get home quickly and safely.”