A MAN has been jailed for life after being convicted of murdering gangland figure Kevin “Gerbil” Carroll in a supermarket car park.
William Paterson, 35, was found guilty at the High Court in Glasgow following a three-week trial. Paterson denied murdering Mr Carroll, 29, by gunning him down at the Asda car park in Robroyston, Glasgow, on 13 January 2010.
He claimed that he was at his girlfriend’s house Cumbernauld at the time of the shooting, but the jury rejected his alibi.
He was convicted of murder and a number of firearms charges.
Passing a minimum sentence of 22 years behind bars, Judge Lord Armstrong told Paterson: “On the evidence this court has heard, this murder appears to have been premeditated, planned, carried out by you and others in the most calculated way.
“It was not a spontaneous event which happened in the spur of the moment, it was in effect an execution.”
The judge said Carroll was murdered in the “most vicious and brutal” way.
Paterson left Scotland for Spain on 23 January 2010 before suspicion fell on him and an international warrant was put out for his arrest in August that year.
He contacted lawyers in June 2014 and agreed to return to Scotland to face the charges against him.
Carroll’s murder was carried out by two masked gunmen at lunchtime in the supermarket car park in front of shocked shoppers including women and children.
It is not known whether Paterson was one of the gunmen, or driving the Volkswagen Golf that was traced travelling from Asda to Coatbridge where the weapons were dumped under shrubbery.
The car was later found alight on a country road by a farmer in Glenmavis, North Lanarkshire.
The killing took just 25 seconds from start to finish and left Carroll dead in the back of his black Audi A3 – riddled with 13 bullets. One eyewitness, shopper Emma Busby, described seeing a “Clint Eastwood-style gun” and was worried the gunmen would turn the weapon on those in Asda.
Carroll was described in court as “violent” by a former drug dealer, Steven Glen, who met him at the supermarket minutes before he was gunned down.
Carroll is believed to have been behind a series of abductions.
A massive police operation was set up following the shooting. Staff and customers at the store were interviewed along with gangland associates of Carroll. But the first breakthrough came with the finding of the two guns used in the shooting.
The weapons were discovered by gardeners in shrubbery behind Coatbridge Library 11 days after the shooting.
When Paterson returned from Spain, his DNA was taken and a DNA profile matching his, was discovered on the handle of a bag one of the guns was found in.
Data from a mobile phone used by Paterson on the day of the murder also placed him in Asda after being in the Cumbernauld area.