Billy considering guilty plea

Billy with Yvonne and their son William when Yvonne visited him in India.
Billy with Yvonne and their son William when Yvonne visited him in India.

The brother of a former UK soldier who has been jailed in India has revealed that he’s considering pleading guilty to get sent home to Scotland.

Jamie Irving (40) from Bearsden insists that his younger brother Billy (37) is innocent - but that he is now being faced with the terrible decision of either protesting his innocence and staying in jail or pleading guilty so that he can serve the rest of his sentence in Scotland.

He was imprisoned for firearms charges in October 2013 while working on an anti-piracy ship, along with five other ex-British soldiers and 29 crew members.

The group are appealing their sentences however this could take years and Billy is desperate to return home so that he can be near his family, including fiancee Yvonne and their one-year-old son.

He is currently sharing a squalid cell in the notorious Puzhal Prison in Chennai.

Jamie said: “Billy’s health has been slowly declining due to the bad conditions in the prison so we have applied for a prison transfer to Scotland.

“This does however come with pitfalls. He will have to plead guilty, against his will as he is innocent, and he will be made exempt from any appeals made in the future.

“This is a bit of a gamble but Billy just wants to see his son and fiancee on a more regular basis, if this means he has to make a sacrifice then so be it.

“We have asked the Foreign Commonwealth Office to try and move things forward but unfortunately no one seems to know what they are doing, resulting in a delay.”

Billy will make the final decision when Yvonne visits him in July.