Rumours fly but no arrests in shootings

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THREE weeks ago tonight, a gunman walked up to Edinburgh businessman Tony DeMarco outside the Maybury Casino and fired.

Mr DeMarco, 62, was said to have been standing chatting with a group of Asian men when he was shot once from close range.

He escaped with only minor injuries as the suspect fled on foot, pursued by casino regulars.

It was a crime which shocked Edinburgh, with rumours of a gangster "hit", a warning shot, or a case of mistaken identity quickly beginning to spread.

Even more disturbingly it was followed by news of two other apparently unrelated shootings.

Despite a massive police operation which involved studying CCTV, interviewing dozens of people at the scene, and forensic officers combing the area, no arrests have been made in any of the three incidents. Detectives today insisted inquiries were ongoing in the Maybury case in which they have pledged to look at "all avenues of investigation".

One of those "avenues" is understood to centre on whether it involved Glasgow gangsters attempting to expand their empire into the Capital, and the longer the investigation takes, the slimmer seem the chances of a resolution. Police are also yet to reveal what type of firearm was used.

A former detective said today: "A ballistics report usually takes a couple of weeks.

"The report could identify the make and model of the firearm and the type of ammunition. But the barrel of any gun leaves a unique mark on the bullet. That could be cross referenced with other shootings to see if the weapon has been used before.

"Very few people are attacked in this manner and are unable to offer any potential suspects to police. Mr DeMarco may have had difficult business dealings with someone, for instance.

"Motive is crucial."

As the Maybury investigation continues, officers last night returned to the area in Midlothian where a 25-year-old Edinburgh man was found wandering with a gunshot wound five days later.

The victim is understood to be have been uncooperative with police, claiming at first that he had been stabbed by a stranger.

Detective Inspector Andy Jones, who is leading the investigation, said his inquiry team did not believe it was a "random attack" although he would not be drawn on speculation over the motive.

Officers last night carried out checks on the A68 near the Oxenfoord Estate, Pathhead, where the wounded man was found.

DI Jones said: "By stopping cars, we were hoping to find drivers who use the road regularly and may have seen something.

"At this stage we are confident that this was not a random attack, and in that regard there is little risk to the wider public."

Mystery also surrounds a third firearm incident which happened in the early hours of June 9. Residents in East Craigs reported hearing gunfire and car brakes screeching. Two suspected bullet holes and a skid mark were found on the road.

Meanwhile, Mr DeMarco is remaining tight-lipped about the casino incident and has refused to comment to reporters at his gated home in Danderhall.


Billy Sibbald

PORTOBELLO pub owner Billy Sibbald disappeared on October 8, 2002, after telling his wife Julie he was going to meet some business associates.

Three months later the 48-year-old's body was found in remote woodland by a layby on the A1 near Musselburgh by a man walking his dog. The father of three, who lived in Joppa and ran the Pop Inn, had been stabbed to death.

Detectives suspect his death was the result of a gangland hit.

Some reports suggested Mr Sibbald was the victim of gangland retribution because he owed a Glasgow-based drug lord 100,000.

Police fear rumours of an under-world connec-tion have deterred people from coming forward and the case remains unsolved.

Leslie Cumming

A VICIOUS knife attack on Edinburgh law chief Leslie Cumming remains unsolved despite police recovering a fragmented DNA sample from the attacker.

Mr Cumming, 63, was stabbed ten times outside his Murrayfield home on January 23, 2006.

Mr Cumming's work with the Law Society of Scotland saw him oversee investigations into allegations of theft by lawyers from clients.

Detectives checked the list of crooked lawyers but were unable to establish any link to the attack.

Police believed the assault was a paid "hit" linked to his work, but were thwarted by a lack of clues. A search of the DNA database drew a blank, and swabs taken from people thought to have links with the criminal world failed to find a match.