A gangland thug who plotted to murder rival yobs including Steven 'Bonzo' Daniel was caught with two illicit mobile phones behind bars.

John Hardie, 38, was caged for 20 years for the plot which saw a gang of six men carry out a string of savage attacks across Glasgow.

Bonzo was chased in a 100mph car chase before his motor was rammed and he was viciously attacked with a machete leaving him scarred for life.

Hardie, who is being held at HMP Shotts, Lanarkshire, was caught trying to flush a mobile phone down his cell toilet during a search by guards.

They also discovered a second phone stashed in the cell.

His lawyer claimed he had the phones to keep in touch with his young children who were in Spain during the pandemic.

Hardie appeared via video link from the jail at Hamilton Sheriff Court and admitted illegally possessing the devices in August last year.

He was handed a six-month sentence by Sheriff Alasdair MacFadyen which will run alongside his 20 year term.

The court was told his earliest date of release is in 2037.

Depute fiscal Morag McLintock said: "In August last year the accused's cell was subject to a search and the items were found.

"He was trying to flush one down the toilet and another phone was later found."

Linda Findlay, defending, said: "It was in the midst of the pandemic and he is serving a very significant sentence of 20 years.

Scots gangster who planned hit on 'Bonzo' Daniel caught flushing stashed phones down jail toilet

"He found the lockdown particularly difficult and having no contact with his family.

"When he was imprisoned and prior to the lockdown happening, the children would come and visit him but, quite frankly, it is boring to attend a prison because there is not much to do and family can't interact properly.

"He was anxious to keep contact with them and that is the reason why he had the items."

The lawyer also said Hardie had been 'instrumental' in setting up a support group for prisoners and also planned to take educational courses while in HMP Shotts.

Following the discovery of the phones, he lost all prison privileges for 28 days.

Sheriff MacFadyen said: "You will be aware that it is a very serious matter to have possession of a mobile phone in the prison setting.

"You now have a conviction for that which will be before the parole board should you apply for that.

"You suffered some loss of privilege but not for any great duration and you deserve to be punished for this. I note the earliest release date and a concurrent sentence is the appropriate way forward."

In May 2019, Hardie along with Brian Ferguson, Andrew Gallacher, Robert Pickett, Andrew Sinclair and Peter Bain were jailed for a total of 104 years.

The associates of the Lyons criminal family were found guilty of plotting attempts to kill five men linked to their rivals, the Daniel family.

Ferguson, Gallacher and Hardie were each jailed for 20 years, Picket was jailed for 16 years, Bain was jailed for 15 years and Sinclair was jailed for 13 years and three months.

Lord Mulholland told them: "You sought to turn Glasgow into a war zone for your feud.

"This is a civilised city, which is based on the rule of law. There is no place for this type of conduct, retribution or the law of the jungle."

The men later lost a bid to overturn their convictions.

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