James McAvoy’s criminal half-brother vows to go straight upon release from jail where he’s serving time for crimes including road-rage attack after he received ‘sizeable’ sum of money from their late father, court told
The criminal half-brother of Hollywood actor James McAvoy has vowed to go straight when he’s freed from his high-security jail after bagging a fortune from their late father.
Donald McAvoy, 34, is serving a sentence of five years and 10 months for a range of offences, which included a road-rage attack on a 57-year-old grandfather.
He had been due for release on March 13, 2025. But after McAvoy admitted to having illegal razor blades and an illicit mobile phone SIM card in his cell at Glenochil Prison, in Clackmannanshire, Scotland, he was jailed for an extra 15 months.
The career thug, from Drumchapel, Glasgow, shared father James snr with X-Men star James, 44 – although the pair were brought up separately.
Appearing at Falkirk Sheriff Court via video link last week for sentencing, his lawyer said he had received a ‘sizeable legacy’ from his late father’s estate. ‘Mr McAvoy’s father died whilst he’s been in prison,’ defence solicitor Ian Sievwright said.
Donald McAvoy (pictured) from Drumchapel, Glasgow, has vowed to turn away from a life of crime after inheriting a fortune from a father he shared with Hollywood actor James McAvoy
X-Men star James McAvoy (pictured) is believed to have never met his half-brother
‘He has inherited a sizeable amount of money from his father’s estate, and that may allow him the financial resources to avoid criminality when he is eventually released.
‘He’s been a prisoner for a long time, and he is determined for his daughter’s sake that when he leaves prison he will lead a pro-social lifestyle and provide for her and fully participate in raising her.’
McAvoy has more than 40 previous convictions for offences including a string of violent crimes.
The court heard the razor blades, partially wrapped in plastic, were found in September 2021 stuck to his toilet door by a magnet.
Mr Sievwright said the reason McAvoy – whose daughter is almost three – had only admitted the crimes was because – until recently – he had thought the bladed item recovered from his cell was a tool he used for a hobby.
The solicitor said: ‘He was brought from prison to attend trial in October and that was the first opportunity that both he and I had the opportunity of viewing the item.
‘It wasn’t what he thought had been taken from his cell – he’d thought it was a different item for which he had a reasonable excuse defence, which he used for arts and crafts in his cell.
‘He’d thought it was a tool that he used for making soap carvings.
Donald McAvoy pictured during a brutal road rage attack in Glasgow in March 2020. He is thought never to have met his half-brother, Hollywood star James McAvoy
‘When it was brought to court and he discovered it wasn’t, he took a view.
‘He accepts it was in his cell, it didn’t belong to him, it was put in his cell by somebody else. There was no nefarious reason for him having it.’
He said the case had already scuppered his chances of getting parole and he would now have to serve his full term.
Imposing the 15-month sentence, and ordering it to run consecutive to McAvoy’s existing sentences, Sheriff Wyllie Robertson said: ‘These are serious offences. Their gravity has to be reflected.’
Prisoners in Scottish jails are issued with mobile phones with locked SIM cards, as part of changes introduced during the Covid pandemic.
Outgoing calls made on the jail-issue devices are rationed, 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 can’t receive incoming calls.
Substituting the official SIM with a standard one gets round this.
Glasgow-born X-Men and His Dark Materials actor James McAvoy, 44, who has also starred in films including Filth, Atonement and Trance, is thought to have never met Donald.
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