A family from south east Northumberland fear their son may now not be home until next year after a fresh twist in his Indian hell.
Nick Dunn, from Ashington, has been stranded in the south east Asian country since he was among 36 sailors arrested last October when their security vessel MV Seaman Guard Ohio was detained on weapon offences.
The 29-year-old’s family had hoped he would be home in Ashington within weeks of the charges being dropped in July by an Indian judge.
But despite numerous court appearances, Nick and the fellow European detainees have not had their passports and visas returned.
Now, in a fresh blow, the Indian authorities have decided to appeal against the decision to quash the charges.
Nick’s sister Lisa said: “After nearly three months of waiting around and thinking they’d just let the lads come home, they’ve gone and submitted an appeal right towards the end of the time period.
“We have no idea on what grounds they are trying to appeal on.
“The date for the first hearing isn’t until October 27.
“Best case scenario is the appeal is dismissed and Nick can be home by the end of November.
“Worst case scenario is the judge decides to take the case to trial and then Nick won’t be home this side of Christmas.
“This is still a living nightmare. It needed to be over 11 months ago. These are innocent men being held against their will for no reason.”
Nick had spent six months in prison before they were granted bail in March, remaining in India while lawyers for Advan-Fort fought to have the charges dropped.
Ashington Rugby Club is holding a race night on Saturday, October 11, to raise funds to help cover Nick’s accommodation and food bills.
Tickets for the fundraiser, which features a range of top prizes in a raffle, including a round of golf with ex-England cricketer Steve Harmison, are available by calling Gordon on 07972 348750 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
Money raised will be split between contributing towards Nick’s costs and the Mission for Seafarers.