Family ‘shocked’ as Nick is sentenced to five years in prison

Nick Dunn.
Nick Dunn.

Family and friends of a pirate hunter have been left shocked and bewildered after he was jailed for five years.

Nick Dunn, from Ashington, had been hoping his Indian nightmare was over as he waited to be sentenced over charges of illegally possessing weapons.

But following a trial, Nick and five other British sailors were sentenced to five years in prison.

His family have refused to give up the fight, with proceedings underway for an appeal while they have also called on help from the Government.

His sister Lisa, who has been fighting for his release, said: “The appeal is already underway with the lawyers. We’re hoping that can be heard in court next week.

“That will be heard in the High Court who dropped the charges last July.

“We managed to speak to Nick on the phone after the hearing but it wasn’t a long call as police were waiting to take him to his hostel to get his belongings before taking him to jail.

“We knew he could have been found guilty or not guilty yet when the reality is you know your brother is 100 per cent innocent of any of these trumped up charges then how can you prepare yourself for a guilty verdict?

“It’s beyond belief. It makes no sense at all. It’s an absolute miscarriage of justice.”

She added: “This is not how we were expecting today to go. We had champagne chilling and were preparing to book flights back.

“This is now so serious we need the government to get involved.”

Lisa said they were clinging to a slim hope that the High Court would once again dismiss the case and quash the charges.

“We have very little faith in the Indian judicial system.

“Justice has not been served here. This is a detriment to Nick’s human rights.

“He has only just started to build his physical strength back up. He has not fully recovered from prison the first time round when he was in for six months.

“This will be a huge step back for his physical and mental health. How on earth will they get through this?”

Lisa is hoping that is Nick is forced to serve his full five years, that he can do that in a British prison but is waiting for the legal process to be clarified.

She added: “We’ve had tremendous and overwhelming support from the local community and in the north east but this is so serious we need national help.”

Nick was among 36 sailors arrested by Indian authorities in October 2013 when their pirate hunting vessel MV Seaman Guard Ohio took shelter in Indian waters from stormy weather.

After spending time in an Indian jail, he was released on bail.

The former paratrooper saw the charges against him dropped last year but was unable to get his passport returned so he could fly home as Indian police appealed the decision, securing a fresh trial in the process.

Friends back home are continuing to support Nick and his family, where they have left messages on the ‘Help Nick Home’ Facebook page since the news broke.