A Dundee murderer who posed for photos with another city killer in prison was back in the dock on Monday – for possessing a mobile phone charger behind bars.
Matthew Pope, 25, c/o HMP Perth, was jailed for six months at Perth Sheriff Court after he admitted having the mobile phone charger in a cell at Perth Prison on August 7 last year.
There was outrage year ago when a photo of Pope posing in prison with another Dundee killer, John Cassidy, was posted on Facebook.
The Courier revealed then that Cassidy, who was jailed for seven years in 2012 for the culpable homicide of Alexander McLennan, had posted a series of pictures of himself on the social media site under the name ‘Johnny Ootsoon’.
Mr McLennan, 56, died after being stabbed in the heart.
In one of the snaps, Cassidy had his arm draped around Pope, who brutally murdered Michael Given in Elder’s Court in 2013.
In another picture, Cassidy, Pope and a third man pose with their arms in the air. The word “party” has been superimposed across the photograph.
Cassidy was released from prison last year.
Solicitor Ann Duffy, defending, told Perth Sheriff Court Pope was serving a life sentence in Perth Prison for the murder and his earliest release date is 2032.
She explained that Pope shared his prison cell with another inmate and claimed that it was the latter who had “concealed the phone.”
“This inmate ran off when prison officers searched the cell and he flushed the mobile phone down a toilet,” she said.
“The phone charger was later found in the cell and my client accepts responsibility for it. However, he doesn’t accept bringing the phone into the prison.”
Depute fiscal Nicola Gillespie said prison staff “were aware” there had been a “high reading” in a prison cell from a device which detected mobile phones.
“The accused’s cell was searched and both inmates were asked if the phone belonged to them,” she said.
“They both said ‘no.’ The matter was dealt with internally and also reported to the police.”
Sheriff Pino Di Emidio sentenced Pope to six months in jail.
Pope had previously been found guilty after trial in February 2014 of the brutal murder of 29-year-old Michael Given in a flat in Elders Court in 2013.
A trial heard how Pope hit Given on the head with a wooden post that had nails sticking out of it, and also how he punched, kicked and stamped on his body.
Judge Lord Armstrong had described the assault as an “obscenely violent attack” and told Pope he would serve a minimum of 17-and-half years in jail but that no sentence would be “sufficient”.