Saturday, January 4, 2020
Four Nigerian stowaways arrested in the UK in 2018 December have been jailed for a total of seven years. While on the ship, they hurled faeces at elite SBS sailors and vowed to infect them with HIV during a tense stand-off in the Thames Estuary.
The stowaways also threatened to kill crew members with metal poles when they broke free from quarantine on the 78,000-tonne Italian merchant ship on 21 December 2018. They said they would steer it to the UK.
Helicopters with specialist sailors were sent to rescue the Grande Tema’s crew and arrest the men while the ship floated off the Essex coast.
Samuel Jolumi, 27, Ishola Sunday, 28, Toheeb Popoola, 27, and Joberto McGee, 21, were all found guilty of affray after an eight-week trial in the Old Bailey. Popoola and McGee were also found guilty of making threats to kill.
All were cleared of attempting to hijack the ship.
Popoola was jailed for 31 months, while McGee was sentenced to 32 months behind bars. Sunday and Popoola were each jailed for 16 months.
They will serve half of their sentences behind bars, and may be detained for deportation proceedings.