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Tuesday, 30 April, 2002, 08:31 GMT 09:31 UK
Police play down gang war fears
TC Campbell
Campbell was attacked by two men
Detectives have sought to allay fears of a gang war in Glasgow after a man convicted of one of Scotland's most notorious crimes was stabbed.

Thomas "TC" Campbell was stabbed just days after leading underworld figure Tam "The Licensee" McGraw survived a serious knife attack in the city.

Sources told BBC News Online that Monday's attack may have been a backlash for the stabbing of McGraw, although there was no suggestion that Campbell was responsible for Friday's incident.

Allan MacFadyen
Allan McFadyen sought to reassure the public
McGraw and Campbell, who has been released on licence pending appeal against the so-called Ice Cream War Murders in 1984, are known to be sworn enemies.

Police issued a statement which did not name the men but confirmed that they were investigating the possibility of a link between the attacks.

The incidents raised the spectre of an upsurge of gang violence but Strathclyde Police said the incidents posed no threat to the wider community.

They also revealed that they were facing a "wall of silence" in trying to catch those reponsible for the stabbing incidents.

Chief Superintendent Kevin Smith said: "It is important to stress that these types of incidents generally involve a certain circle of people and not the community at large."

'Misleading information'

His colleague, Detective Superintendent Allan McFadyen, said: "It is fair to say that there may be a link between these incidents and it is a situation we are aware of and actively tackling.

"The hallmark of these types of incidents is often that the victim and witnesses refuse to help police inquiries.

"Officers are either met with a wall of silence or given deliberately misleading information."

Campbell was attacked on Monday as he walked towards a community centre in Hallhill Road, not far from his Barlanark home.

He was stabbed several times and was treated at Glasgow Royal Infirmary and later released.

TC Campbell
Judges will consider Campbell's appeal
One of Campbell's two assailants was also cut with a fish knife he had tried to use.

At least one of the men was believed to have been a member of a family which has links to McGraw.

Campbell, and his co-accused Joe Steele, are on interim liberation from prison pending a new appeal.

They were jailed for life following the murder of six members of the Doyle family, who died in a house fire in Ruchazie in 1984.

The fire was linked to the highly lucrative ice cream van trade in the city.

Tensions were expected to run high after Friday's attack on McGraw, who is still recovering.

He was believed to have been stabbed in broad daylight on Friday morning by a lone attacker not far from his house in Carrick Drive in the Mount Vernon area.

Minor injuries

Sources indicated that McGraw only survived the stabbing on Saturday because he was wearing a bullet-proof vest.

One source told BBC News Online: "If he wasn't wearing a bullet-proof vest he would be dead.

"He received 20 blows but suffered only minor injuries to his arms and wrists and slightly more serious wounds to his buttocks."

McGraw was a peripheral figure in the Ice Cream Wars case but was never convicted of any wrongdoing.

The 49-year-old has business interests in taxis and property and received his Licensee nickname because of his pub concerns.

Police were said to be looking for a man aged in his late 20s in connection with the attack but refused to confirm that it was a stabbing incident.

McGraw was found not proven of drug smuggling in 1998 and not proven of the attempted murder of a policeman 20 years earlier.

See also:

29 Apr 02 | Scotland
27 Apr 02 | Scotland
18 Apr 02 | Scotland
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