A CONVICTED murderer who stabbed a man 54 times in a 'grotesque' killing in Renton has been caught in possession of an illicit mobile phone in prison.

Gary Meikle - who also tried to torch his victim's home in a bid to cover his tracks - claimed he'd 'found' the phone in HMP Greenock after it was left in his cell by a previous inmate.

But Meikle, 44, pleaded guilty to a charge of having unlawful possession of a personal communications device at the sheriff court, having committed the offence last October.

He is currently serving a minimum of 19-and-a-half-years for the murder of Charles Wilson in Renton in March last year.

Meikle inflicted scores of stab wounds on Mr Wilson before setting his house alight.

He pleaded guilty to murder at the High Court in Glasgow in September last year, as well as to a charge of attempting to defeat the ends of justice.

Lord Young described the attack as ‘grotesque’, noting that Mr Wilson’s injuries were so severe that his family were prevented from seeing his body.

At Greenock Sheriff Court, Meikle’s defence solicitor told Sheriff James Varney that his client discovered the mobile phone in a cell he had been transferred to within HMP Greenock.

Dumbarton and Vale of Leven Reporter:

The court heard that the device was discovered during a search carried out by prison officers.

His lawyer said: “These are circumstances which do not often apply to this kind of offence.

“He simply retained it instead of handing it in.

“He does advise that there was no SIM card in the phone, so it could not have been used for external communication.

“I think it’s fair to say he has no friends. He has no visitors.

Dumbarton and Vale of Leven Reporter: Gary MeikleGary Meikle (Image: Police Scotland)

“There’s no-one in the prison who wants to talk to him.

“I would ask the court to consider admonishing and dismissing.”

Sheriff Varney said: “I appreciate the position but I think it needs to be marked on his record.”

Meikle was handed a four-month prison sentence for the offence, reduced from six months due to his guilty plea.