Nick Dunn speaks out about being imprisoned in a dreadful Indian jail for crimes he didn’t commit.
What kept Nick Dunn going in his worst hours, lying on a concrete floor in a small, rat-infested prison cell in 40-degree heat, was the hope of one day returning home to the North East and his family. But it needed every ounce of the former Paratrooper’s self-control to keep him sane and prevent him from considering suicide.
Along with Billy Irving of Connel, Argyll, Ray Tindall of Chester, Paul Towers of Pocklington, East Yorkshire, John Armstrong of Wigton, Cumbria, and Nicholas Simpson of Catterick, North Yorkshire, Nick was one of the “Chennai Six.” All were British ex-military private security guards who were unjustly accused of straying into Indian territorial seas and possessing illegal firearms after being taken off their US-owned anti-piracy vessel – stationed in the Indian Ocean to defend cargo shipments from Somali pirates. It was the beginning of a nightmare that would cost Nick and his five coworkers four years of their lives, their livelihoods, and their sanity. Nick, on the other hand, was adamant about never giving up hope, even when it appeared that the UK government had given up on them despite their years of service to the Queen and country. Nick, 34, recounts on the third anniversary of their release, three years after walking out of captivity with his head held high: “Four years to some is nothing, but to me it was like my life ended.” My life came to a halt in 2013 and resumed in 2018.” They either kill me or I kill them when it comes to piracy.
That is the situation. We would not have been held as prisoners; we would have been slaughtered. But what do you do when a country that claims to be allies with the UK throws you in jail? How do you make sense of that? Not an Indian government, but I was trained to combat piracy. How do you fight against a corrupt system that you don’t understand?”
Nick, from Ashington, near Newcastle, joined the Paratroopers at the age of 18 and served in Northern Ireland, Iraq, and Afghanistan, where he narrowly avoided catastrophic harm when his armoured vehicle was blown up.
He took a career in private security after leaving the Army in 2010, and eventually moved into anti-piracy, defending ships from Somali pirates. “Brinkwire Summary News” was the title.