A MAN appeared in court today charged with attempting to murder notorious gangster Grant Mackintosh with a knife and a hammer.

Stephen Cunningham, 32, is accused of trying to kill convicted drug dealer Mr Mackintosh by attacking him at his home in Ferguson Street, Renfrew, just days before Christmas.

It is alleged that Cunningham, who is thought to live in the same block of flats as Mr Mackintosh, attacked him on Tuesday, December 19.

It's understood Mr Mackintosh, 61, suffered a head injury and slash wounds to his arms during the alleged attack, while Cunningham was taken to hospital to be treated for injuries he sustained on the day in question.

Cunningham was held in hospital until today, when he was taken to Paisley Sheriff Court by police and appeared in the dock to face a single charge of attempted murder.

He made no plea during the short, private hearing, where he was represented by defence solicitor Gemma Rathey, of law firm the Robert Kerr Partnership.

Sheriff James Spy continued the case for prosecutors to investigate further and ordained Cunningham to appear at any future hearings.

No future court dates have been set but Cunningham is expected to go on trial before a jury in due course.

Mr Mackintosh was once dubbed "Mr P" due to the control he was said to have over Paisley's underworld in a criminal career which saw him viewed as one of Scotland’s most feared gangsters.

In 1985, he was sentenced to seven years in jail over his drug empire, before being jailed again for a drugs offence in 1993 and then locked up for a firearms offence in 2004.

He survived a murder bid in 2011 when he was stabbed multiple times in Paisley before being dumped outside the Southern General Hospital, in Glasgow.

Mr Mackintosh has since insisted he has turned his back on a life of crime.