Prince Harry is backing campaign to get Billy out of Indian jail

Billy Irving with fiancee Yvonne and their son William.
Billy Irving with fiancee Yvonne and their son William.

The Bearsden brother of a former UK soldier who has been jailed in India has welcomed the news that Prince Harry is backing the campaign to get him freed.

Jamie Irving (40) from Bearsden insists that his younger brother Billy (37) is innocent.

Prince Harry

Prince Harry

Billy was imprisoned for firearms charges in October 2013, along with five other ex-British soldiers and 29 crew members, after their anti-piracy ship - Seaman Guard Ohio - strayed into Indian waters carrying weapons in 2013.

The dad-of-one Billy was working on vessels as a security guard defending against the threat from armed pirates in the Indian Ocean.

Billy and three other men are ex-Paras and Prince Charles, who is Colonel in Chief of The Parachute Regiment, has also written to the family of one of the men (John Armstrong) who he met when he was awarding Afghanistan medals.

He said he was “deeply saddened” at the “distressing situation” the ex-soldiers are in - and hopes they are home soon.

However his private secretary says he is unable to intervene personally.

Another campaigner who has lobbied the British government to help secure the men’s release wrote to Prince Harry, who served for ten years in the military.

His office replied: “Prince Harry has asked me to send you his very best wishes and hopes that there will be a resolution soon.”

The six were delighted to hear of the support from the Royals.