James McAvoy's half-brother caught with contraband phone in prison

Donald McAvoy, 33, was serving four years and ten months for a road-rage attack on a 57-year-old grandfather.

James McAvoy’s half-brother caught with contraband phone at Glenochil Prison SPS

The half brother of Hollywood actor James McAvoy has been handed another prison sentence for having an illegally-modified phone in a top security jail.

Donald McAvoy, 33, was serving four years and ten months at the time, after being jailed at the High Court in Glasgow in 2021 for a road-rage attack on a 57-year-old grandfather.

Stirling Sheriff Court was told that warders had gone to McAvoy’s cell in high security Glenochil Prison, Clackmannanshire, to search his cell.

Prosecutor Lindsey Brooks said: “He was asked if he had any contraband and he produced a prison-issue mobile phone with an illicit SIM card from under his bed.”

Prisoners in Scottish jails are issued with mobile phones and locked SIM cards, as part of changes introduced during the Covid pandemic.

Outgoing calls made on the jail-issue devices can be monitored, and should only be possible to numbers already included in existing prisoner call lists. The phones are not text or Internet enabled, and are unable to receive incoming calls. The official devices also ration calls to 300 minutes a month.

Extracting the official SIM card and inserting a standard one circumvents some of these restrictions.

McAvoy, of Drumchapel, Glasgow, who appeared by video link, pleaded guilty to having an illegal communications device in jail. The incident occurred on January 18, 2023.

The court heard he had already been punished by the prison authorities, with seven days loss of recreation, seven days loss of earnings, and 30 days loss of physical training.

Defence solicitor Abby Russell asked that, because of that, he should be dealt with in a way that did not interfere with his release date.

Sheriff Frank Gill jailed him for seven months, to run concurrently with his existing sentence.

McAvoy has over 40 previous convictions for offences including a string of violent crimes.

X-Men actor James McAvoy, 44, who has also starred in films including Filth, Atonement and Trance, is thought to have never met Donald, with whom he shares a father.

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