A SCOT sentenced to more than two years in a Spanish prison for his role in a protest is appealing to the courts to avoid jail.

William Aitken, from Lanark, has been mired in legal trouble since he was arrested in 2021 after he attended a protest demanding the release of a jailed rapper, who was jailed for criticising the Spanish crown.

Aitken, 33, was found guilty of using his skateboard to break a kerb to throw a piece of rubble at a police car at the Barcelona protest.

But he has insisted he is innocent and that the Spanish police had “no evidence” to support their claims.

He was initially sentenced to five years in prison but this has since been reduced to two years and nine months.

Any sentence of two years or less is automatically suspended in Spain – putting Aitken just over the threshold to serve time behind bars.

He told the Sunday National going to prison would mean losing his call-centre job, raising the possibility he may also have to return to Scotland once he had served his time, ending his nearly eight-year stint in Spain.

Despite his appeal, Aitken said he had “no information” on when his case would be heard.

READ MORE: Scot in Catalonia sentenced to five years in prison over protest allegations

“It’s sitting in idle mode permanently,” he said.

“If the second appeal comes back with a sentence under two years, then I’ll be able to stay in Spain and continue working, continue having my life here.”

Aitken is a keen photographer and makes videos of skateboarding – a popular pastime in Barcelona – as well as looks after his dog in his spare time.

“This is my actual home now,” he added.

“That’s why it’s ludicrous that they took my passport from me and classified me as a flight risk, when this is clearly my home.

“It’s tedious, it’s tedious and it’s long.

“It’s a mental punishment. Even though I’m free, I’m not actually free waking up every single day thinking, ‘That’s it, game's over’.”

The protest Aitken attended was in support of rapper Pablo Hasel, who was locked up over lyrics criticising the Spanish crown and allegedly glorifying terrorism.

We previously reported how he had been detained for a fortnight without charge and he is required as part of his bail conditions to register with the Spanish authorities on a regular basis to prove he remains in the country, as he is considered a flight risk.