Stowaways jailed for disrputing box ship operations in London
THE UK has jailed four stowaways from Nigeria and Liberia for affray offences
THE UK has jailed four stowaways from Nigeria and Liberia for affray offences. The men had run amok on a containership, waving metal poles and throwing faeces and urine after being discovered hidden on the vessel in December 2018.
When the ship from Lagos, Nigeria reached the Thames Estuary bound for Tilbury docks, Essex, the stowaways demanded to be dropped off in Britain.
The men went on trial at the Old Bailey, reported the BBC. However, Samuel Jolumi, aged 27; Ishola Sunday, 28; Toheeb Popoola, 27; and Joberto McGee, 21, were cleared of attempting to hijack the 78,000-tonne Grande Tema ship following the same trial.
Two of the men made cut-throat gestures at the crew, who had barricaded themselves on the bridge, the court heard. Following a 14-hour standoff, special forces swooped on the ship to rescue the sailors.
Popoola and ringleader McGee were jailed for 31 months and 32 months, respectively, for making threats to kill and affray.
In mitigation, it was claimed Popoola had acted out of 'desperation' and that McGee had been fleeing West Africa to avoid being forced to join a 'tribal gang'.
Sunday and Jolumi were handed jail terms of 16 months for affray.
Judge Lickley said it was an 'unusual case,' the likes of which he had never come across before.
He praised the 'fortitude and good sense' of the ship's Italian captain, Antonio Raggi, in the face of violence and possible death.