Glasgow & West Scotland

Glasgow 'gangland' murder targets recall masked attacks

Thomas Bilsland Image copyright Spindrift
Image caption Thomas Bilsland was attacked while returning to his mother's home in Maryhill in January 2017

Two targets of an alleged gangland attempted murder plot have claimed to have no idea why they were attacked.

Thomas Bilsland, 31, suffered a fractured skull after he was set upon in Glasgow's Cranhill in January 2017.

Two months later Gary Petty, 22, was assaulted by masked men in the city's Maryhill.

The pair were giving evidence at the trial of six men said to have targeted members of the "Daniel" crime gang..

Brian Ferguson, 37, Andrew Gallacher, 40, Robert Pickett, 53, Andrew Sinclair, 32, John Hardie, 35, and Peter Bain, 45, - who prosecutors claim were linked to the "Lyons" crime gang - deny the charges at the High Court in Glasgow.

The allegations include a string of attempted murders over a 15-month period.

It is alleged they targeted Mr Bilsland, Mr Petty, Robert Daniel, Ryan Fitzsimmons and Steven Daniel betwee

The charges spans between June 2016 and September 2017, listing locations in Glasgow, North Lanarkshire, Renfrewshire and Manchester.

'Hit from behind'

Mr Bilsland first told how he was returning to his mother's home after visiting local shops in January 2017.

He was heading to the front door when he was "hit with something from behind".

Mr Bilsland added: "I kind of fell...there were three or four guys with masks on. They were round about me. It was all a blur.

"The only thing I was paying attention to was getting to my feet and away. I was in shock, I panicked."

Mr Bilsland said he believed he was hit on the head with a "hatchet" .

He also thought the attackers must have had a knife as he went on to discover he had been stabbed.

Mr Bisland managed to flee to a nearby kebab shop where he phoned an ambulance.

The court heard his injuries included a fractured skull

Prosecutor Paul Kearney asked the witness: "Do you know why you were being attacked?"

He replied: "Don't have a clue."

Asked how he had been affected, Bilsland replied: "I just get on with my day to day. It has never changed."


Mr Petty was set upon in March 2017 after he had been at a Italian restaurant.

He was getting out his Volkswagen Golf when he was struck.

Mr Petty recalled: "I dropped the food and covered my head to try and protect myself.

"I was just getting hit. I think it was a machete. It all happened so fast."

Mr Petty - who described feeling "numb" - believed there were three assailants, who had their faces covered with "something black".

He said he did not know where the individuals had come from before they pounced.

Mr Kearney: "You have no idea why you were attacked?"

Mr Petty replied: "No."

The scaffolder suffered wounds to his head and hands, forcing him to stay off work for three months.

'Serious criminality'

Both men were also questioned about their knowledge of the "Lyons" and "Daniel" crime gangs.

Mr Petty said he knew Steven Daniel - said to have been attacked on Glasgow's M8 motorway in May 2017.

Asked if he was aware that the Daniel family were involved in "serious criminality", Mr Petty replied: "Not that I know of."

The witness was also questioned about his knowledge of a "long running dispute" between the Daniel and Lyons families.

Mr Petty replied: "You hear about it in the papers, but not that I am aware of."

Meanwhile, Mr Bilsland said he knew Steven Daniel to say hello to and that they had previously gone to Rangers matches together.

He also claimed to "know of" some of the other alleged targets in the case.

The trial, before Lord Mulholland, continues.

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