HMA v Brian Ferguson, Andrew Gallagher, Robert Pickett, Andrew Sinclair, John Hardie and Peter Bain

At the High Court in Glasgow today, 13 May 2019, Lord Mulholland sentenced Brian Ferguson, Andrew Gallagher, Robert Pickett, Andrew Sinclair, John Hardie and Peter Bain to a total of 104 years and three months’ imprisonment after the accused were found guilty of conspiracy to murder.

On sentencing, Lord Mulholland made the following statement in court:

“My remarks may not resonate with you; that is a matter for you as to whether they do, but they are also intended as a warning to anyone engaging or contemplating engaging in such conduct.

“Steven Daniel one of the victims of the plot gave evidence that he was not aware of any feud or ill feeling between the Lyons and Daniels families. I didn’t believe a word of that evidence and more importantly neither did the jury.

“You all engaged in a sophisticated plot planned and executed over a period of months. As I said at conviction, the plot involved targeting individuals who were members of the Daniel’s family, associates of that family or a relative of an associate of that family so that they could be murdered.

“The plot involved trackers clandestinely placed on their vehicles to track their movements, so that at a place of your choosing, you would be lying in wait, gloved and masked, for them where they were subjected to extreme violence involving frenzied blows with knives, hammers, machetes, axes and batons.

“You also used encrypted phones, mobile phone jammers, stolen cars with cloned plates for transportation to and from the places where the attacks took place and the cars were set on fire afterwards, no doubt to avoid detection. A firearm and silencer was stored in a garage lock up for use when required.

“Despite the planning and sophistication that has gone into this, you were caught by good old fashioned detective work identifying DNA on a tracker and everything flowed from there. The police and forensic services should be commended for their work.

“The notion that this was a private feud and that the public were not affected by your actions could not be further from the truth.

“The resources of law enforcement and the medical profession were deployed to deal with the consequences of your actions at great cost no doubt to the public purse.

“Robert Daniel a victim was pursued into a member of the public’s house late at night when a baby was sleeping in a room. Robert Daniel was assaulted with weapons on her stairs.

“Ryan Fitzsimmons was another victim who had no involvement with the Daniel’s family. He was a hard-working man living peacefully with his mother. His brother was said to be an associate of the Daniel’s family but that was not in any way the responsibility of Ryan Fitzsimmons.

“As a result of the extensive injuries sustained during the attack upon him he has had to give up work and is dependent on his mother for his care and support. The need for care and support will persist for the rest of his life.

“Another attack took place near a primary school.

“With regard to the attack on Steven Daniel, this was preceded by a car chase at reckless speeds which involved ramming of vehicles and caused great danger to the public.

“With regard to the injuries sustained by Steven Daniel, he was extremely fortunate that he was near the GRI and the medical staff who saved his life and the world class surgeon Mr Ansell who has reconstructed his face. He has done a remarkable job.

“You sought to turn Glasgow into a war zone for your feud. This is a civilised country which is based on the rule of law. There is no place for this type of conduct, retribution or the law of the jungle.

“You will now be sentenced for your parts in this conspiracy having heard your counsel in mitigation and having taken into account their submissions and your respective criminal records. I will backdate all sentences to the dates you were remanded in custody by the court which resulted in you appearing from custody for your trial.

“Brian Ferguson, there were no deletions made by the jury to charge 1. You were involved from the outset in this murderous plot. You will be sentenced to 20 years’ imprisonment.

“Andrew Gallagher, there were no deletions made by the jury to charge 1. You were also involved from the outset in this murderous plot. You will be sentenced to 20 years’ imprisonment.

“Robert Pickett, you were convicted of the conspiracy under deletion of subhead (g) – the subhead which contains reference to the handgun and silencer – and subheads (j), (k) and (l), which relate to the attacks on Robert Daniel, Thomas Bisland and Gary Petty. The conspiracy to murder you were convicted of involved two attempted murders, namely that of Ryan Fitzsimmons and Steven Daniel. I have taken this into account in selecting the sentence.

“You have an appalling criminal record which contains previous convictions for four attempted murders. Your conviction in this case brings to total of attempted murders you have been convicted of to six. You will be sentenced to 16 years’ imprisonment.

“Andrew Sinclair, like Robert Pickett you were convicted of the conspiracy under deletion of subhead (g) – the subhead which contains reference to the handgun and silencer – and subheads (j), (k) and (l), which relate to the attacks on Robert Daniel, Thomas Bisland and Gary Petty. The conspiracy to murder you were convicted of involved two attempted murders, namely that of Ryan Fitzsimmons and Steven Daniel. I have taken this into account in selecting the sentence.

“You do have a criminal record, including convictions for violence and being concerned in the supplying of controlled drugs, but it is not comparable to Robert Pickett’s. You will be sentenced to 13 years and three months’ imprisonment. I will apportion three months of the sentence to the bail aggravation.

“John Hardie, there were no deletions made by the jury to charge 1. You were involved from the outset in this murderous plot. You were also convicted of charges 16 and 17, the charges involving the handgun and silencer.

“However, I note that the terms of charge 1, of which you were convicted, contains reference to the handgun and silencer. To avoid double counting I will order that the sentences for charges 16 and 17 should run concurrently with the sentence for charge 1.

“You will be sentenced to 20 years’ imprisonment on charge 1, seven years’ imprisonment for charge 16 and five years’ imprisonment for charge 17. As I have said I will order that the sentences for charges 16 and 17 should run concurrently with the sentence for charge 1.

“Peter Bain, you were convicted of the conspiracy under deletion of subheads (j) and (k) – the subheads which relate to the attacks on Robert Daniel and Thomas Bisland. The conspiracy to murder you were convicted of involved three attempted murders, namely that of Garry Petty, Ryan Fitzsimmons and Steven Daniel. You will be sentenced to 15 years’ imprisonment.”