• 6 December 2017

High Court in Glasgow
Image caption The gang were convicted following a trial at the High Court in Glasgow

A major crime gang is facing jail after a police probe into violence, drugs and firearms offences.

They include Edinburgh cocaine dealer Mark Richardson and ex-army veteran turned gun-runner Martyn Fitzsimmons.

The nine-strong gang had been due to stand trial at the High Court in Glasgow but admitted a number of reduced charges.

Prosecutors had originally listed 28 charges which including the shooting of gangland figure Ross Monaghan.

He survived the attack outside a Glasgow primary school in January.

Other claims were the attempted murder of crime boss Robert Kelbie as well as allegations of £1.5m of hidden “criminal” cash.

But following a series of pre-trial hearings amid heightened security the gang entered guilty pleas to reduced charges.

Abduction and torture

Richardson, 30, who had been accused to trying to kill Monaghan and Kelbie, admitted having a Glock handgun in the city’s Baillieston area.

Fitzsimmons, 37, was allegedly involved in the Monaghan attack but instead admitted having a Glock and ammunition.

He also admitted hiding £36,000 of crime cash.

David Sell, 50, admitted to being involved in the abduction and torture of a man who was later shot in the legs.

Anthony Woods, 44, Francis Mulligan, 41, and Michael Bowman, 30, each accepted roles in “serious organised crime”.

Gerard Docherty, 42, pled guilty to recklessly discharging a firearm at a house and Steven McArdle, 33, admitted having a Glock firearm.

Barry O’Neill, 37, was the final member of the gang to enter a guilty plea on Wednesday.

He admitted to being concerned in the supply of cocaine.

The charges for the nine span between 2013 and 2017.

Serious Crime Prevention

Judge Lord Beckett remanded them all in custody and adjourned the case until later this month.

Prosecutors have also made applications for the gang to be hit with Serious Crime Prevention Orders.

The move – believed to be a first for a Scottish High court – is designed to tackle the country’s organised criminal gangs.

The original indictment stated a charge that the nine had agree to “commit and organise the commission of serious offences”.

A number of locations across Scotland – including Glasgow and West Lothian – as well as the north of England were listed.

Other accusations included the January 2017 shooting of Ross Monaghan, who was previously cleared of the murder of gangster Kevin “Gerbil” Carroll.

But prosecutors accepted not guilty pleas from Richardson and Fitzsimmons – the only two charged with taking part.

It was further claimed Richardson, Docherty and McArdle had tried to kill Robert Kelbie in Newbridge, Edinburgh in September 2016.

However, Docherty instead pled guilty to an amended charge of discharging a firearm at a property to the danger of others.

More information is expected to be heard when the group next return to court.

Richardson was jailed for 10 years in 2010 after a major operation led to the seizure of £2m of cocaine and heroin.

Fitzsimmons was jailed for 12 years in 2008. The former army lance corporal was involved in the theft of army ammunitions and explosives to sell to criminals.

BBC News – Scotland

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