Scottish men jailed for more than 100 years after gangland murder plot

The guilty men included (clockwise, from top left) Peter Bain, Brian Ferguson, Andrew Gallacher and John Hardie
The guilty men included (clockwise, from top left) Peter Bain, Brian Ferguson, Andrew Gallacher and John Hardie
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SIX men guilty of a savage gangland murder plot have been jailed for a total of more than 104 years.

Lord Mulholland told the group there was no place in Scotland for the “law of the jungle”.

The gang were said to be part of the Lyons crime clan – long-time enemies of the Daniel crew in the north of Glasgow.

A wave of violence erupted in December 2016 escalating after the school shooting of Ross Monaghan – once cleared of murdering Daniel enforcer Kevin ‘Gerbil’ Carroll.

Five men were ambushed in a series of hits over a 15-month period.

Steven ‘Bonzo” Daniel – nephew of late crimelord Jamie Daniel – was a primary target.

The ex-taxi firm boss suffered grotesque facial wounds after an attack near Glasgow’s M8 motorway in May 2017.

The guilty six today returned to the High Court in Glasgow having earlier all been convicted of conspiracy to murder following a 14-week trial.

Brian Ferguson (37), Andrew Gallacher (40) and John Hardie (35) were all each jailed for 20 years.

Robert Pickett (54) was locked up for 16 years while Peter Bain (45) was sentenced to 15 years.

Andrew Sinclair was jailed for 13 years and three months.

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Lord Mulholland told them: “Steven Daniel gave evidence and said that he was not aware of a feud between the Lyons and Daniel families.

“I did not believe a word and, more importantly, neither did the jury.”

The judge described the murder plot as “sophisticated” involving high-tech tracker devices and encrypted mobile phones.

But, he added the gang were undone by “good old fashioned detective work”.

Lord Mulholland then told them: “You sought to turn Glasgow into a warzone with your feud.

“This is a civilised country based on the rule of law. There is no place for this type of conduct, retribution or the law of the jungle.”

Some of the six appeared not to be put out by the lengthy jail-terms as they returned to the cells.

Gallacher made a clenched fist gesture as he headed downstairs.

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Ferguson appeared to salute supporters in court while Bain grinned and gave a thumbs up.

Security was once again tight as the six appeared for sentencing with armed police patrolling the building.

The attacks occurred amid a reported a long-running tit for tat feud between the Lyons and Daniel clans.

Steven Daniel is a central figure in his family.

He was attacked in the early hours of May 18 2017 having been at a Rangers and Aberdeen match at Ibrox the previous night.

A tracker was stuck on his Skoda Octavia allowing the gang to trace him from the ground eventually to the city’s Milton.

The device was “the first type of its kind” used in Scotland obtained from a surveillance firm in Manchester.

A Volkswagen Golf deliberately bashed into the 39 year-old vehicle.

An Audi S3 then rolled up as Daniel went at “breakneck” speed to get away.

He estimated “doing about 100mph” as he was chased towards the M8 and planned to go down the wrong side of the motorway to escape.

But, his Skoda was again ploughed into at the M8 on-ramp at the city’s Port Dundas.

Daniel said: “It was presumably the Audi...then I just passed out. I (remember) skidding towards a pole at the foot of the road.”

Daniel claimed he could not remember being attacked.

Prosecutors stated he was struck with a cleaver, hammer and other bladed weapons.

He remained in hospital for several weeks to try and repair massive wounds to his face.

Lord Mulholland said today it was “extremely fortunate” the attack happened near to the city’s Royal Infirmary with Daniel being helped by a “world class” surgeon.

Prosecutor Paul Mr Kearney asked him during the trial: “The Daniel family are alleged to be a serious organised crime group.”

Daniel: “Allegedly.”

But, Daniel insisted he had no enemies before the attack – and said there was no “dispute” with the Lyons.

A crucial prosecution witness was supergrass Alistair McMillan.

The former footballer had been an associate of Steven Daniel.

But, he told jurors of being offered £50,000 to help in the “murder” of the ex-taxi firm director.

McMillan said he met three men at a secret meeting in a garden in a house in Renfrewshire.

The 43-year-old recalled: “They were looking for me to place Steven and that I would be looked after.”

“It was a tracking device...place it on his car. No airs or graces about it.They wanted him murdered.”

Prosecutors stated it was Ferguson, Gallacher and Pickett who wanted McMillan to tip the gang off.

McMillan later had a number of meetings with Gallacher – nicknamed Dumbo - at a bar in the city’s Shawlands.

He said he was initially paid £500 a time for updates on Daniel – but insisted he gave “false” information.

McMillan claimed he backed out of putting a tracker on Daniel by getting himself deliberately arrested in a road traffic incident.

Innocent Ryan Fitzsimmons was ambushed outside his family home in Clydebank, West Dunbartonshire on April 28 2017.

Lord Mulholland today said he was a “hard working man” living quietly with his mum.

His brother Martyn had just been held for trying to kill Ross Monaghan outside a primary school in Glasgow’s Penilee months earlier.

The ex-squaddie – jailed for 10 years for his role in a crime supergang in 2018 – was eventually cleared of shooting Monaghan

Ryan was heading to work when up to five masked attackers jumped out a car and attacked him with a sword.

Ryan: “I can remember vividly as if it (the weapon) was getting stuck in my head and that it was an effort to get it out.

“It was as if they were trying to chop the top of my head off. It felt like death was coming.”

The supermarket worker – a former soldier – had been a keen runner and was training for the London Marathon.

But, he is now no longer able to live on his own as a result of his ordeal.

He said he had no enemies and had “never been involved in crime”.

Lord Mulholland commented: “He suffered extensive injuries, has had to give up work and is now dependent on his mother.”

Andrew Sinclair was said to have boasted that he had “done a c***” days after Ryan was hurt.

The first target had been Robert Daniel – previously jailed for helping attack a gran outside a pub in 2012.

The 29 year-old was chased into a house in the city’s Robroyston where a child was after his car was rammed.

He was then struck with a hatchet or a machete.

Daniel told the trial: “I thought I was getting mugged for my car.”

Thomas Bilsland (31) and Gary Petty (22) were the remaining two set upon.

Bilsland suffered a fractured skull after being attacked with a hatchet outside his mum’s home in Glasgow’s Cranhill in January 2017.

Petty was targeted two months later in the city’s Maryhill after leaving an Italian restaurant.

The six face a further hearing later in the year after prosecutors moved for serious crime prevention orders to be slapped on them.