The fiancee of a former soldier languishing in jail in India was joined by their two-year-old son as she took her campaign for justice all the way to Downing Street.

Yvonne MacHugh was among the loved ones of six ex-soldiers currently in a “hell-hole” prison in Chennai who handed in a petition demanding that the UK Government does more to secure their release.

The so-called ‘Chennai Six,’ – including Yvonne’s partner Billy Irving – have now been held in India for four years.

They were first jailed on weapons charges while working as security guards on ships to combat piracy in the Indian Ocean.

Officers from the Indian Coast Guard boarded their vessel, the MV Seaman Guard Ohio, and arrested them for taking weapons into India’s territorial waters in October 2013.

The charges were initially quashed when the men argued the weapons were lawfully held for anti-piracy purposes and their paperwork, issued by the UK Government, was in order.

But a lower court reinstated the prosecution and they were convicted in January 2016 and sentenced to five years behind bars.

Since then, there has been a series of appeals as the families navigate the tortuous Indian legal system.

Yvonne, formerly of Neilston and now living in Paisley, took son William with her to Downing Street as the petition was delivered.

She is holding on to the hope that Billy, 37, will soon be able to return home to his family – and has called on the government to do more to help.

Yvonne, 28, said: “We don’t know what to do to have him released.

“We just know we have to do something and we’re trying to do everything we can to bring him home.”

She added: “I want them to openly say ‘We know the men are innocent, release them now’ – and fight for them.”

Yvonne and Billy, a former member of 1 Para, got engaged when she brought William over to India to visit him for the first time.

The couple planned the wedding for May 2016, hoping he would be home by then.

However, almost 18 months later, they are still having to live thousands of miles apart.

Yvonne said: “It would be both a homecoming celebration and our wedding celebration.

“Definitely, it will happen. I just want it to happen tomorrow and not in five years’ time.”

Yvonne also revealed that she sends lots of photographs to Billy, writing to him every week, and talks to William about his dad every day.

She said: “We watch home movies of his dad and pictures and everything, so that he doesn’t forget him and that, when he does come home, he knows that that’s the dad who loved him and has loved him from day one.”

Yvonne added that Billy writes bedtime stories for William, which she reads to him at night.

She is hoping the government will respond positively to the petition that was handed into Downing Street last Thursday.

Yvonne, who describes every day she is separated from Billy as “horrific,” added: “Boris Johnson has said in the past that he will leave no stone unturned to release the Chennai Six.

“We are just hoping that he backs that up with actions.”

In the meantime, Billy is facing the looming prospect of another Christmas behind bars at Puzhal Prison – a vast penal complex in Chennai that is home to 3,000 inmates, including murderers and rapists.