A CONVICTED thief who smashed his way into a parked car and swiped a bag on the day he was released from prison has been returned to jail — for carrying a knife.

Denis Morgan was caught with the blade in the early hours of the morning after being arrested on suspicion of stealing alcohol from an unlocked van.

Greenock Sheriff Court heard how a lock-back knife with a three-inch blade was recovered from one of his jacket pockets.

His not guilty pleas to stealing from a Fiat Scudo van and possession of cannabis were accepted.

Prosecutor John Penman said: "Police attended in relation to another matter, and in doing so the accused was arrested.

"He was wearing a two-layered jacket, the outer of which was searched at Greenock police office."

Morgan, of Nicolson Street in Greenock, was arrested on Inverkip's Glen Crescent, on December 3.

The Telegraph told in June how he targeted a Nissan Qashqai on Greenock's Cathcart Street on the same day he was released from Barlinnie.

Morgan was intoxicated on drugs and was unaware that a local resident had spotted him loitering around the vehicle.

He broke a window on the car and clambered inside before helping himself to a bag and its contents.

Morgan was given an eight-month sentence and was released shortly before committing the knife offence.

Defence lawyer Aidan Gallagher said: "He had the item in his possession earlier for what might have been arguable as a reasonable excuse.

"Mr Morgan is aware of the attitude of the court to such matters."

Sheriff Daniel Kelly said: "I consider that this is a matter where custody is the only appropriate disposal."

The sheriff returned Morgan to prison for the remaining 68 days of his previous sentence and imposed a further six months on him.