Gang members face restrictions after 87-year sentence


Members of a gang jailed for a total of 87 years for drug and firearms offences are to face further restrictions upon their release from prison.

Serious crime prevention orders (SCPO) imposed on the gang will limit their future movements and associations.

Until now, the orders had only been used three times in Scotland.

The restrictions were granted against the men by Lord Becket for their part in a £100m criminal operation involving drugs and weapons.

David Sell, 50, Barry O'Neill, 37, Anthony Woods, 44, Francis Mulligan, 41, Michael Bowman, 30, Mark Richardson, 30, Gerard Docherty, 42, Steven McArdle, 33, and Martyn Fitzsimmons, 37, were convicted after admitting a string of offences at the High Court in Glasgow.

A range of limits have been imposed on seven of the men. They include restricting their access to communication devices and travel outside of Scotland.

Earlier this week, two members of the group – Gerard Docherty and Steven McArdle – had orders imposed on them limiting what they can do when they leave jail.

A third order, raised against Barry O'Neill, is being contested by his defence QC on the grounds that it is so restrictive it would stop him playing computer games with his children.

A hearing to determine the limits of the SCPOs against O'Neill and Mark Richardson is due to take place in March.

All nine men were part of a gang whose crimes included torturing a man over an unpaid debt and moving drugs and weapons.

'Violently enforce'

The men were caught after four major police investigations uncovered links between cases.

They were found to have been behind the importation of vast quantities of cocaine, acting as "wholesalers" to other organised crime groups.

They were also involved in "firearm trafficking" to violently enforce their operation.

Gang member David Sell was convicted of taking part in the kidnapping of Robert Allan in March 2015.

Allan was driven to a desolate industrial unit in Midlothian and beaten with a chain, metal bar and sledgehammer for reportedly failing to pay a £30,000 debt.

Justice Secretary Michael Matheson said: "This was one of the most sophisticated organised crime groups ever encountered by police and prosecutors.

"The reason that these men are now behind bars is that they were defeated by a highly sophisticated law enforcement response combining the expertise, partnership working and state of the art facilities of the Scottish Crime Campus.

"I want to commend the ongoing work of the Serious Organised Crime Taskforce partners to identify, detect and prosecute those involved in serious organised crime."

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