An Inverness murderer found with an illicit sim card in prison has been given another jail term that even the sentencing sheriff described as “pointless.”
Ryan Brandie is serving a life sentence with a minimum punishment period of 19 years after killing disabled chef Gary Gallogley in his home in 2018.
He was caught with an illicit sim card while serving his sentence in Perth Prison and admitted the offence at Perth Sheriff Court.
His solicitor said: “He was remanded in respect of the murder charge in 2018 and has been in custody since then.
“He had only recently moved from Shotts Prison and was given a prison issue phone. There were limits to the numbers he could have on that handset.
“Some of his friends were changing numbers so he was using this to phone them. He has lost privileges and been punished within the institution.”
Sheriff: ‘The whole thing pretty pointless’
Noting he was serving life and could not be given a consecutive sentence, Sheriff William Gilchrist imposed a two-month concurrent sentence.
The sheriff said: “It makes the whole thing pretty pointless.”
Brandie was due to appear via video link from the prison, but he failed to arrive after the court waited upon him for several minutes.
The case was heard without him after a prison staff member said: “He’s faffing around.”
Brandie, 29, was jailed for life in 2019 for murdering Mr Gallogley in his Inverness home by torching it and leaving him to die.
Brandie initially hit the 54-year-old with his own walking stick before starting two fires at the flat in the Raigmore estate.
Tragic Mr Gallogley – who had moved north from Lanarkshire several years earlier – died two days later in hospital after suffering severe burns.
Lord Mulholland told him: “He was a man who had done you no harm. He presented no threat to you.
“For no reason, you assaulted him by striking him with his walking stick. This rendered him more infirm and unable to escape.
“You set two fires in his small flat – one in the bedroom and one close to where he was lying in the living room. The death must have been painful and horrific.”
Brandie was arrested after confessing what he had done to his girlfriend, who lived near to the victim. She reported him to police.