A former soldier will spend Christmas exiled from his family in an Indian prison as he awaits the outcome of an appeal against his illegal weapons conviction.
The only present that pirate hunter Billy Irving from Connel near Oban can send to his 20-month-old son is a picture drawn in his jail cell.
Mr Irving was sentenced to five years alongside five colleagues in January.
The men were detained on board an anti-piracy ship in 2013. They were working as security guards on a US-owned ship when they were arrested on illegal weapons charges.
An appeal against the conviction is with the Indian courts, after evidence that the security workers had all the proper documentation.
Mr Irving’s fiancee Yvonne MacHugh said: “We have just been told the courts have closed for the holidays. We are looking at the end of January before we even get a date for the verdict.
“I think it is going to be very hard for him to go through Christmas and into the New Year not knowing.”
This will be Mr Irving’s second Christmas in an Indian prison.
His fiancee said: “I know there have been so many people sending Christmas cards and parcels. I’m hoping that will lift his spirits and he will at least know how many people are thinking about him.
“The kind of person Billy is, he is very positive and matter of fact about things. He might just think, ‘let’s try and celebrate’ and make a toast with some water to all of our friends and family.”
She added: “Christmas the last two years has become another day. When you have not got people you love around you, what’s the point?
“I am lucky, I have got my son, my mum, brother and sister. We are all having Christmas dinner at my sister’s house. Billy has got no-one except the guys he is in prison with.
“William will be two in February. I talk to him about Billy all the time. I make sure that he knows that he has got a dad for one, and that his dad loves him more than anything. I always show him pictures of Billy and Billy draws him a lot of pictures of dogs for William, because he loves dogs.
“I just constantly make him aware he has a dad who loves him. That’s all I can do.”
She extended her heartfelt thanks to everyone who has sent a card to Mr Irving.
“It is so heart warming. It restores my faith in humanity at a time when I think, what is the world coming to.”
Kirsten Oswald MP for East Renfrewshire said: “This must be the last Christmas Billy and his colleagues spend in jail. Things have moved at a glacial pace in India – and it is important that the pressure is kept up on both the Foreign Office and Number 10 – to ensure this subject is at the front of the UK government’s mind.”