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FCO 'cannot interfere' in India's judicial system

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office has released a statement following the sentencing of British men in India.

“Our staff in India and the UK have been in close contact with all six men since their arrest to provide support to them and their families, including attending court. Ministers have also raised this case at the highest levels, pressing for delays to be resolved.

"We recognise what a difficult time this is for those involved. There is now a 90 day window to appeal and we will continue to provide consular assistance. However, we cannot interfere in another country’s judicial process.”

– Foreign and Commonwealth Office

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Family of Nick Dunn will launch an appeal

The family of Nick Dunn from Ashington say an appeal will be lodged against his five year jail sentence for weapons offences in India. They say they will seek UK government help to allow him to serve out his sentences in Britain. It is understood that Nick Dunn and the other men have already been taken to jail to begin their sentences.

Nick Dunn sentenced to five years, say family

The family of Nick Dunn have confirmed that the 28 year old has been found guilty of weapons offences in India and has received a five year sentence.

In October 2013, he was arrested on a ship in Indian waters, accused of illegally possessing weapons. He was one of several British men working to protect other vessels from pirates.

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Indian Court to return verdict on Northumberland man Nick Dunn

Nick Dunn Credit: ITV Tyne Tees

A jury in India are due to return their verdict on Ashington man Nick Dunn.

In October 2013 the 28 year old was arrested on a ship in Indian waters, accused of illegally possessing weapons.

He was one of several British men working to protect other vessels from pirates.

The family have set up a Facebook page to keep family and friends updated as they try to bring Nick home.

Nick Dunn Credit: ITV Tyne Tees

Their story so far

OCTOBER 2013 Six British men are taken into custody in India after what they thought was a routine paperwork check aboard their security vessel Seaman Guard Ohio turned into them all being arrested.

Their company AdvanFort has always insisted the men were working to provide protection to other ships from pirate attacks, but the Indian courts pressed weapons charges on the Brits.

Among them are Nick Dunn from Ashington, Paul Towers from York and Nicholas Simpson from Catterick.

The other men are Billy Irving, from Scotland, Ray Tindall from Chester, and John Armstrong, from Wigton, Cumbria,

Police seized 35 automatic weapons and nearly 5,700 rounds of ammunition from the security guards on the ship, a police official said.

The men were charged with illegal possession of weapons and ammunition and entering India's territorial waters without permission, he said.

DECEMBER 2013 The case of the six men, held in prison since their arrests, is raised in the House of Commons for the first time.

The Foreign Secretary William Hague told the house that David Cameron had mentioned the case to the Indian Prime Minister and the country's foreign minister.

MARCH 18th 2014 Lisa Dunn from Ashington, the sister of Nick, is joined by Wansbeck MP Ian Lavery as she delivers a petition to 10 Downing Street in London calling for his release. She had collected 100,000 signiatures.

JUNE 3RD 2014 After being held in prison for five months, in what they described as "squalid" conditions, five of the men, including Nick Dunn and Nocholas Simpson, are released on bail by a judge.

JULY 10TH 2014 A judge in India rules that the cases against the six men are dropped because of insufficient evidence against them. They cannot leave the country though. Their passports are withheld pending an appeal by the police against this decision. The men have no money or resources and will be supported by their families back home for the foreseeable future.

AUGUST 22ND 2014 "Please Prime Minister, get us on a plane and home to our families" is the direct appeal to David Cameron from THE six former soldiers still being held in India, more than six weeks after weapons charges against them were dropped. The foreign office says it is continuing to raise the men's plight at the highest levels in India.

MARCH 11TH 2015 Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond arrives in India this morning amid calls for him to help secure the release of former paratrooper Nick Dunn. The government insists that the Foreign Secretary raised their case with his Indian counterpart.

MAY 17TH 2015 The case is scheduled to be heard at the Supreme Court, but is adjourned again.

JULY 1ST 2015 The Supreme Court tells the men's lawyer that the appeal by the police has succeeded, and that the men will go on trial after all. No date is set, but they are told that the trial will open within six months.

'We're devastated Nick won't be home for Christmas'

The sister of a Northumberland man, facing his third Christmas awaiting justice in India, says her family is devastated that he won't be home before the new year.

Nick Dunn from Ashington is one of six Britons arrested for weapons offences inOctober 2013.

Two of the others are Paul Towers from York and Nicholas Simpson from Catterick.

In 2014 the case against the men was dropped by an Indian judge, but this decision was successfully appealed by the police, and the charges reinstated.

They have now been told that the final judgement in their case will be heard on January 11th.

Nick Dunn's sister Lisa broke down in tears when she reacted to the news:

Date set for final judgement in 'pirate hunter' case

Three men from this region held in India on weapons charges face a third Christmas away from home, after learning that their cases will be heard in court in the new year.

The men on their release from prison in June 2014.

Nick Dunn from Ashington, Northumberland, Paul Towers from York and Nicholas Simpson from Catterick learned today that the final judgement in their case will be heard on January 11th.

They, and three other Britons, were originally arrested in October 2013.

All three deny the charges and insist they were providing armed security to help protect ships from pirate attacks.

Nick Dunn's family said on Thursday night that they hopes he would be able to return home soon after the judgement.

Foreign Secretary arrives in India amid calls to help North East naval security worker

Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond arrives in India this morning amid calls for him to help secure the release of former paratrooper Nick Dunn.

The naval security worker from Ashington has been detained there since October 2013 on suspected weapons offences along with Nicholas Simpson from Catterick, Paul Towers from York and three other British men.

All the charges against them have already been dropped and it's hoped the Foreign Secretary might now step in to get their passports returned.

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