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Wednesday, December 2, 1998 Published at 11:55 GMT


Ice Cream Wars campaign goes on

Donald Dewar says there are no grounds for the appeal

Two men convicted of murdering a family of six during Glasgow's so-called Ice Cream Wars have had their appeal bid rejected, but supporters say the decision is "not the end".

Scottish Secretary Donald Dewar has refused to return the case of Thomas "TC" Campbell and Joseph Steele to the Court of Appeal.

A statement from the Scottish Office said: "The Secretary of State has responded to a petition submitted on behalf of Thomas Campbell and Joseph Steele following the rejection of their latest appeal earlier this year.

"After considering the petitions carefully the Secretary of State does not believe that they present grounds for a referral of the case to the appeal court."

[ image: Joseph Steele: Chained himself to railings in protest at an earlier appeal]
Joseph Steele: Chained himself to railings in protest at an earlier appeal
Solicitor for the two men, John Carroll, said they would take the case to the Criminal Cases Review Commission.

"I am disappointed about the decision. Not surprised, but disappointed. It was a waste of nine months.

"The commission will have the authority to recommend that the case will go back to the Appeal Court."

The Glasgow Two Campaign, a group supporting the two men, reacted angrily to the decision.

'Absolute scandal''

Campaign coordinator Tommy Sheridan said the decision was "a very, very sad day for justice in Scotland".

"In broad terms, the reason why Donald Dewar didn't back it was he didn't want to go against what the Law Lords, Lord Cullen and Lord Sutherland decided last February," he said.

"Over the last 14 years we have had lots of ups and downs. This is a down but there will be another up. The two men are innocent and we are determined to prove that they are innocent."

Campbell's sister, Agnes Lafferty, maintained her brother's innocence.


"It is an absolute scandal that this has not been allowed and it seems Scottish judges are allowed to do what they want and get away with it.

"This is the 15th year of the campaign and it is exhausting and very wearing.

"Every time we think we are getting somewhere we get a setback like this, but this is all it is, a setback."

Steele's brother Jim Steele said supporters would direct the campaign at Mr Dewar personally.

"As far as we are concerned Donald Dewar has acted in a very cowardly fashion," he said.

"We are determined to intensify this campaign and direct it towards Donald Dewar. We will be talking to Joe and Tommy and meeting next week to discuss the continuation of the campaign. This is not the end."

Illegal drugs

Campbell and Steele were convicted of murdering six members of the Doyle family, including an 18-month-old child, by starting a fire in a tenement flat in Ruchazie, Glasgow, in April 1984.

After a 27-day trial at the High Court in Glasgow, the two men were jailed for life.

The killings were part of a violent war between ice cream van businesses in the east end of Glasgow.

The ice cream routes reportedly formed a network for distributing illegal drugs throughout the city's housing schemes.

It was Campbell and Steele's third attempt at an appeal. They were temporarily released from jail in 1997 pending the result of a second appeal.

It failed in February 1998 and they were immediately reimprisoned.

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