A bid to have detained sailor Nick Dunn released from prison in time for his 30th birthday has failed.
Lawyers acting for the 29-year-old appeared at an Indian Court on Tuesday for a bail hearing.
But Nick’s family and friends in Ashington were left disappointed after the judge reserved his decision until another day.
Nick’s sister Lisa is planning to head over to India on Sunday to help celebrate his 30th birthday next week, and had been hoping it would have been a double celebration with the news that he could be released from jail.
Speaking to the News Post Leader, she said: “The judge reserved his decision until another day and he’s not confirmed yet when that will be so it’s yet more waiting but we don’t know even know when.
“Nick’s lawyers put lengthy arguments forward to leave no doubt in the judge’s mind about the situation and that they are hopeful bail will be granted.”
Lisa added: “We don’t have a confirmed date of when he will deliver this judgement however the lawyers will be checking.
“Our lawyers have worked very hard in educating the judge and we keep everything crossed that he acknowledges the men are not flight risks, that they are not security risks to the people of India and the country and that the men will adhere to the conditions given until they can once again fight to prove their innocence.
“It is looking unlikely that Nick will be released for his birthday and for when my visit out there which is not what I wanted.”
In January, Nick – a former paratrooper – was sentenced to five years in prison on charges of illegally possessing weapons, with his lawyers immediately launching an appeal in the Indian High Court.
He was among 36 sailors arrested by Indian authorities in October 2013 when their US-owned 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.
Nick 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.