Glasgow & West Scotland

William Paterson guilty of Kevin 'Gerbil' Carroll murder

William Paterson Image copyright Police Scotland
Image caption The prosecution said William Paterson's guilt was "beyond doubt"

A man has been jailed for life after being convicted of murdering Glasgow gangland figure Kevin "Gerbil" Carroll.

William Paterson, 35, had denied shooting the 29-year-old dead in the Asda car park in the city's Robroyston area on 13 January 2010.

He claimed he was elsewhere at the time and incriminated six other people.

Paterson was convicted of murder following a two-week trial at the High Court in Glasgow. He was told he must serve a minimum of 22 years in jail.

Judge Lord Armstrong told Paterson: "On the evidence this court has heard this murder appears to have been premeditated, planned, carried out by you and others in the most calculated way.

'An execution'

"It was not a spontaneous event which happened on the spur of the moment, it was in effect an execution."

The judge said Carroll was murdered in the "most vicious and brutal" way.

He added that it was carried out in a public car park where "ordinary members of the public were going about their everyday business" and "put at risk of gunfire".

The court heard that the shooting was carried out by two masked gunmen at lunchtime in the supermarket carpark in front of shocked shoppers.

Image copyright bbc
Image caption Kevin Carroll was killed in an Asda car park in Robroyston

It is not known if Paterson was one of the gunmen, or driving the Volkswagen Golf that was driven away from the Asda to Coatbridge where the weapons were dumped in plastic bags under shrubbery behind a library.

The getaway car was later found alight on a country road by a farmer in Glenmavis, North Lanarkshire.

The murder took just 25 seconds from start to finish and left Mr Carroll dead in the back of his black Audi A3 that was riddled with 13 bullets.

Mr Carroll was described in court as "violent" by a former drug dealer, Steven Glen, who met him at the supermarket minutes before he was killed.

Shooting threat

Mr Glen claimed Mr Carroll had told him: "You're working for me now, anybody that doesn't fall in line is going to get banged."

Asked what he understood by that, the witness said "shot".

The court heard that when Mr Glen went back to his car after the meeting and began to leave he heard "bangs and cracks".

He said: "I looked up and there was a motor parked in front of the the motor Gerbil was in, it was two people shooting at it."

Image copyright BBC - Crown handout
Image caption The getaway car was found by a farmer near Glenmavis

During the trial, the prosecution described the shooting as "a brazen, organised assassination" that put the public at risk.

One eyewitness, shopper Emma Busby, described seeing a "Clint Eastwood-style gun".

She told the jury she was "hysterical" and physically sick after witnessing the shooting.

Teacher Anne McIntosh told the court how she could not believe what she was seeing as "masked gunmen came out of the car...with their pistols held in front of them" before she crouched down in fear.

DNA evidence

The prosecution case against Paterson hinged on DNA and phone record evidence.

Jurors heard how Paterson's DNA was found on the handle of a plastic bag that one of the murder weapons was found in.

The DNA of another man, Ross Monaghan, who was cleared of the murder in 2012 and was known to Paterson, was found on the handle of the other gun.

The court was told that "10 days after the shooting with the police investigation in full flow" Paterson had left Scotland for Spain.

Image copyright BBC - Crown handout
Image caption Gun similar to one of murder weapons

He contacted lawyers in June 2014 and agreed to return to Scotland to face the charges against him.

Jurors also heard telephone evidence that a mobile phone used by Paterson on the day of the murder placed him in Asda after being in the Cumbernauld area.

His phone was then traced to Coatbridge, where the guns were dumped, and was back in Cumbernauld by 14:11 - before the burnt out Volkswagen used in the crime was found in a country road in Glenmavis.

Paterson denied the charges against him and incriminated six other people.

Defence claims

He also lodged a special defence of alibi claiming he was at an address in Cumbernauld at the time of the shooting.

Paterson's legal team argued that he had returned to Scotland from Spain on the basis he was innocent.

They said the DNA evidence presented by the prosecution did not mean he had touched any gun or that guns were in the bag when he touched the handle.

It was also claimed that there was "no direct evidence" to say that the phone attributed to Paterson - that was traced to the Asda, Coatbridge and Cumbernauld - was with him on the day of the shooting.

His legal team claimed the phone could have been used by one of the men Paterson was incriminating, who also stayed in the Cumbernauld area.

They also said eye witnesses' descriptions of the gunmen were too short to be Paterson who is over 6ft tall.

After less than a day of deliberation, however, the jury returned a guilty verdict of murder.

After Paterson was jailed for life, procurator fiscal David Harvie said Mr Carroll's murder had been "a shocking and deplorable act".

He said: "Immediately after the murder, Paterson fled abroad, in a deliberate attempt to avoid the consequences of his actions.

"Illegal firearms have no place in civilised society and we will not stand by while innocent members of the public are put at risk by those involved in serious and organised crime."

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