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Jailed Scot among Chennai Six 'eager to return' home

Billy Irving, from Connel in Argyll, was one of six Britons imprisoned in India in 2013.

Billy Irving: Scot poses for photo after release from prison.
Billy Irving: Scot poses for photo after release from prison.

The Chennai Six are in "good health" and "eager to return" home after four years in an Indian jail.

Billy Irving, from Connel in Argyll, was one of 35 men jailed on weapons charges in 2013.

He had been working with five other Britons, known collectively as the Chennai Six, on an anti-piracy ship Indian authorities say strayed into their territorial waters.

The men were jailed for five years but after a series of hearings they were released this week.

In a joint statement issued on Wednesday, the six men said: "After four long years, we, along with the 29 crew of the Seaman Guard Ohio, have been cleared.

"We want to thank the court for reaching this decision. We are all in good health and eager to return to our families and friends."

https://stv.tv/news/west-central/1403131-scot-jailed-in-india-to-return-home-after-four-years/ | default

The five other men are Nick Dunn, 31, of Northumberland; John Armstrong, 30, of Wigton, Cumbria; Nicholas Simpson, 47, of Catterick, North Yorkshire; Ray Tindall, 42, of Chester, and Paul Towers, 54, of Pocklington, East Yorkshire.

The group were detained in 2013 when the Indian coastguard boarded their vessel and arrested them for taking weapons into Indian territorial waters.

The charges were quashed when the men argued the weapons were lawfully held for anti-piracy purposes and their paperwork - issued by the UK Government - was in order.

A lower court reinstated the prosecution, however, and they were sentenced to five years in jail.

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