Largs man Matt George is poised to commence a make-or-break appeal against his imprisonment - and can count on the key support of local parliamentary members when he does so.

Matt, 60 - who continues to insist he is innocent while on interim liberation - has been assigned eight days in May or June for his appeal and remains hopeful that a verdict of miscarriage of justice could be reached by judges re-examining his case.

The former Kerelaw Residential School art teacher was originally set aside four days and believes that the irregular granting of such an extension could represent tentative grounds for optimism as he fights to prove that key evidence was withheld from his original trial.

He has also been given support from local MP Katy Clark and MSP Kenneth Gibson, who have both met with the George family and expressed a willingness to aid Matt's appeal bid.

Mr Gibson has made requests for evidential documents under the Freedom of Information Act and is set to investigate the 'Moorov doctrine' - a legal device which allows prosecutors to prove a case without direct corroborative evidence and a system that was used in Matt's trial.

However, while Matt and wife Yvonne desperately hope to celebrate their 40th wedding anniversary together at home next year, they also fear the grandfather-of-four will be forced to return to prison once more.

Matt, of Rosebank Gardens, was convicted of physical and sexual abuse charges in 2006 and sent to Edinburgh's Saughton Prison where he was forced to rub shoulders with notorious killers Peter Tobin and William Beggs.

Furthermore, despite serving 21 months, Matt still has another four years and 11 months of his sentence left hanging over him.

Since he was sentenced at the High Court in Edinburgh, the couple have seen their faith in justice shaken to the core and their trust in others destroyed as they found themselves plunged into "the middle of a nightmare".