A former soldier who was jailed in India over weapons charges is expected to be released after he was acquitted by appeal judges.

Billy Irving is one of six British men - known as the Chennai Six - who were first jailed in October 2013 while working as security guards on a ship to combat piracy in the Indian Ocean.

They were part of a group of 35 who were arrested on board the ship.

A post on "The Chennai 6" Facebook page said families were "understandably delighted" at the news.

They are now waiting to hear when they will be allowed home from India to their families.

The post said: "The Appeal Court has today found all 35 men not guilty. We now wait to hear as and when the men will be allowed home to their families.

"This may take some time whilst the authorities decide whether they agree with the outcome or wish to appeal.

"If they wish to appeal, the men might be released from prison but not allowed back to the UK.

"But the families are delighted that finally common sense and justice has prevailed."

Customs officials initially boarded the vessel and were said to have found 35 guns and almost 6,000 rounds of ammunition.

Charges against the British men were dropped but they were forced to remain in India while prosecutors pursued an appeal.

Billy's fiancee Yvonne McHugh, formerly of Neilston and now living in Paisley, said she was "over the moon" the men had been acquitted.

She added: "We are just waiting to hear how soon they'll be home.

"That's the biggest hurdle we faced and all of them have been acquitted."

Although the men have been cleared, Yvonne said she would be unable to speak to Billy as he is not yet out of prison and does not have a phone.

She added: "We just want them home as soon as possible.

"I'm absolutely ecstatic and feel proud we've managed to do this after four years."

News of the acquittal reached Downing Street, which said it will continue to offer consular assistance to the men.

Theresa May's official spokesman said: "The Government, from the Prime Minister down, has worked hard for over four years to support the men and their families and we share their happiness at the court's decision to give a full acquittal to each of the men.

"We are now working with the Indian authorities to discuss the next steps. We will continue to offer the men and their families consular assistance for as long as it is needed."

Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson added: "Since I became Foreign Secretary, this case has been a top priority for everybody at the Foreign Office (FCO) and today's verdict is fantastic news.

"The FCO has worked tirelessly behind the scenes to reunite these men with their families. The importance the UK Government places on their case cannot be understated.

"The men, their families and their supporters, who have campaigned unrelentingly, must be overjoyed.

"I share their delight and I hope they can return home as soon as possible."