THE family of a man jailed in India on weapons charges has told how he received a festive boost in the form of hundreds of Christmas cards.

Yvonne MacHugh’s wish for 2017 is for partner Billy Irving to be allowed to return home so he can see their one-year-old son William grow up.

Former soldier Billy remained in jail at Christmas but, along with five other ex-British Army squaddies, he was boosted by a flood of cards sent to the Chennai jail where they are being held.

Yvonne, from Neilston, thanked supporters that the crew of the MV Seaman Guard Ohio have gathered on social media.

She wrote: “I received a letter yesterday from Billy informing me that they received more than 1,000 cards over the Christmas period from all of you incredible people.

“Billy has amazed me with his strength - even now a year on from his wrongful sentencing and over three years from when this nightmare began.

“I have no doubt a lot of his strength has come from the support from all of you. Thank you.”

Ex-paratrooper Billy, 35, was working on an anti-piracy ship in October 2013 which was adjudged to have carried weapons into Indian waters without written permission.

Billy, along with five other British MV Seamen Guard Ohio crew members, continually protested his innocence for more than two years.

Following a protracted court case, Indian authorities sentenced Billy and the rest of the vessel’s 35 anti-piracy seamen to five years in jail last January.

The only form of communication that 27-year-old Yvonne has had with Billy in the past six months has been through handwritten letters.

Chemist worker Yvonne last spoke with her fiancé face-to-face during a visit to his squalid Chennai prison cell six months ago.