Dundee mur­derer back in the dock

El­ders Court killer jailed for six months af­ter ad­mit­ting pos­ses­sion of phone charger

The Courier & Advertiser (Angus and The Mearns Edition) - - News - STE­FAN Morkis and Paul re­och smorkis@the­courier.co.uk

A Dundee mur­derer who posed for pho­tographs with an­other city killer in prison was back in the dock yes­ter­day for pos­sess­ing a mo­bile phone charger while in prison.

Matthew Pope, 25, 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 a year ago when a photo of Pope pos­ing in prison with 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 mur­dered Michael Given in El­ders 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. SO­LIC­I­TOR ANN DUFFY Cas­sidy was re­leased last year. So­lic­i­tor Ann Duffy, de­fend­ing, told Perth Sher­iff Court Pope was serv­ing a life sen­tence 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 that 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 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”.

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.

Matthew Pope, 25, and as he was in 2014 when he was found guilty of mur­der.

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