FREE MY DADDY

WEE WIL­LIAM’S PLEA TO THERESA MAY

Daily Record - - NEWS - STEPHEN STEWART s.stewart@dai­lyrecord.co.uk

A TOD­DLER has led calls for Theresa May to help free the Chen­nai Six from their In­dian jail hell.

For­mer para­trooper turned mar­itime se­cu­rity con­trac­tor Billy Irv­ing, 37, was jailed for five years last Jan­uary af­ter In­dian au­thor­i­ties ac­cused him and five col­leagues of pos­sess­ing il­le­gal weapons.

Yes­ter­day, his two-year-old son Wil­liam handed in a pe­ti­tion to Down­ing Street to mark the fourth year of his war-hero dad’s im­pris­on­ment.

The pe­ti­tion has nearly half a mil­lion sig­na­tures.

Billy’s fi­ancée Yvonne MacHugh, from Neil­ston, Ren­frew­shire, said: “This is a mas­sive in­jus­tice and peo­ple need to be aware of the toll this has taken on the men in jail and the fam­i­lies in the UK.

“Billy has yet to spend a day at home with his son, who was born while he was in In­dia. I have taken him to visit his dad in prison so Billy has only had a cou­ple of hours with Wil­liam.”

The men were work­ing on an anti-piracy ves­sel in 2013 when they were de­tained by the In­dian coast­guard, who ac­cused them of car­ry­ing firearms with­out per­mits.

Their pa­per­work was in or­der but a judge con­victed them and sen­tenced them in 2016 to five years in a vi­o­lent, over­crowded prison.

The le­gal case for the six has come to a stand­still.

Yvonne said: “It is an out­rage. The men were em­ployed as se­cu­rity op­er­a­tors whose job was to pro­tect com­mer­cial ship­ping from pi­rates in the In­dian Ocean.

“They should be hailed as he­roes, not stuck be­hind bars.”

CAM­PAIGN PRE­CIOUS TIME Wil­liam has only ever met his dad in prison Fam­i­lies of the Chen­nai Six at 10 Down­ing Street CRY FOR HELP Yvonne MacHugh and son Wil­liam hand pe­ti­tion in. Pic: PA

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