Edinburgh, Fife & East Scotland

Gunman guilty of attempted murder in Edinburgh

A gunman who pulled the trigger three times but failed to fire a bullet at a man has been found guilty of attempted murder.

Lee Connors, 30, pointed a handgun at Grant MacBeth and tried to discharge the weapon in Barn Park, Edinburgh, on 25 October 2014.

Connors had denied attempting to murder Mr MacBeth.

He lodged a special defence of alibi claiming he had been at his mother's home and then a girlfriend's house.

Connors was found guilty at the High Court in Edinburgh.

Firearms offences

When police recovered the revolver they found that there were three bullets in the six chambers of the gun.

Kimberley Dow, 23, who also had the gun pointed at her by Connors, told the court: "He pulled the trigger three times at Grant."

Ms Dow said: "I heard the clicks. Click, click, click. I can still hear the clicking in my head today."

He was also found guilty of assaulting Ms Dow by pointing the gun at her.

Connors, a prisoner, was also convicted of a breach of the peace and firearms offences, including illegal possession of the gun and ammunition.

Judge Lord Uist told Connors: "You have been convicted by the jury of very grave crimes. It is likely you will receive a very long prison sentence for these crimes."

The judge said because Connors had not previously been jailed he was required to get a background report on him before sentencing.

Ms Dow said that, before the murder bid, Connors had contacted her and said he needed help and could not ask anyone else. She said he sounded "really distressed" and agreed to meet him.

She said: "I was going to put him up. I was scared for his safety the way he was acting.

"I felt so bad because he said there was people after him."

They went to her flat in Barn Park where she saw the gun for the first time. "He was sitting on the bath unloading the gun," she said.

"Lee had it in his hand. I was like 'You can't have it in here.' I saw the whole gun when he took it out the bag."

'Fear and alarm'

Ms Dow said Connors left but returned the next day.

Mr MacBeth had come to her home, which Connors was unhappy about.

Connors then pointed the gun at both of them.

Connors described Ms Dow as "poisonous". He said: "It's not just me. It seems to be anyone she gets into a relationship with."

Sentence was deferred on Connors, who remains in custody, until next month.

Det Insp John Kavanagh, of Police Scotland, said: "Lee Andrew Connors was responsible for causing considerable fear and alarm to his victims when he pointed the gun and pulled the trigger.

"His conviction should serve as a reminder to others that Police Scotland will not tolerate gun crime."

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