A killer who murdered his pal in a brutal attack then treated himself to a McDonald’s meal was caught with a mobile phone behind bars.

Alan Richardson ended the life of school friend Jamie Murray after the victim spilled paint on his denims at a house in Hamilton.

Richardson, 27, was jailed for a minimum of 13 years in August 2019 after admitting the murder of Jamie, 24, an ex-Motherwell FC groundsman.

Now it’s emerged the callous thug had stashed an illicit phone in Edinburgh’s Saughton Prison while he was awaiting sentencing.

The device was found after prison officers mounted a search in Richardson’s cell.

Richardson appeared from custody at the city’s sheriff court on Wednesday and admitted possessing the phone in jail.

Fiscal depute Matthew Miller said guards arrived to search the cell at around 2.25pm on July 31 2019.

Guards at Saughton Prison in Edinburgh found the phone.
Guards at Saughton Prison in Edinburgh found the phone.

Mr Miller said prison officers spotted Richardson in the main hall “attempting to evade” a search.

The court was told the killer tried to “conceal an item under his shorts”.

Mr Miller said guards escorted Richardson to his cell and the search began.

The prosecutor said Richardson told the prison officers, “You may as well have this as you’re going to find it anyway”, and handed them the phone.

Mr Miller said Richardson lost recreation time and access to “personal cash” as a punishment at the jail.

Richardson, who defended himself during the hearing, told the court the phone was to contact family, including his daughter. He added: “That’s what it was for.”

The phone was found in Richardson's cell at Saughton Prison.
The phone was found in Richardson's cell at Saughton Prison.

Sheriff Peter McCormack imposed a two-month sentence on Richardson to be added after he serves his minimum life term.

Richardson attacked Jamie Murray exactly a month after he’d been freed early from a jail term for serious assault.

Jamie had allowed Richardson to live with him. But the brute, who had 21 previous convictions, stabbed his pal and punched and kicked him during the assault. He left his body lying in the flat before going on to enjoy a meal at McDonald’s.

Richardson pleaded guilty to murder in June 2019 at the High Court in Glasgow.

Richardson pled guilty at Edinburgh Sheriff Court.
Richardson pled guilty at Edinburgh Sheriff Court.

Sentencing him that August, judge Lord Armstrong told Murray: “On January 20, 2018, having been released from prison one month earlier, you assaulted James Murray, in his own home in a brutal, sustained and excessively violent attack which resulted in his death.

“You attacked him with a knife and inflicted blunt force trauma by repeatedly punching, kicking and stamping on his head and body.”

During earlier proceedings, Lord Armstrong was told Richardson had been freed early from jail on December 20, 2017.

This was despite being sentenced to two years in February of that year for assault to severe injury.