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Last Updated: Wednesday, 15 October, 2003, 16:40 GMT 17:40 UK
Gang guilty of killing innocent man
(Left to right): Donnell, Campbell and Garrett
Three men who shot dead an innocent man in a gang feud over drugs have been jailed for a total of 70 years.

David Donnell, James Campbell and Colin Garret, had plotted to kill a rival drugs dealer in a turf war, but they bungled the hit and shot Billy Fargher, 38, the owner of a takeaway food and coffee shop.

After a seven-week trial at the High Court in Glasgow, the three were found guilty of murdering Mr Fargher on 9 October 2002.

Donnell, 39, of Fereneze Drive, Paisley, and Campbell, 24, of St Michael Place, Paisley, were both jailed for a minimum of 25 years. Colin Garrett, 23, of Seedhill Road, Paisley, was given 20 years.

Grand-standing and histrionics are not uncommon on occasions like this and I wouldn't worry about it
Lord McEwan, speaking to jury
The three refused to stand as they were sentenced by Lord McEwan, who told Donnell: "It is perfectly clear to me that the planning of this frightening and scandalous crime was entirely at your instance."

Earlier, as the verdicts were read out, Campbell and Garrett shouted obscenities at the jury foreman, the judge and police.

Campbell yelled: "Hope you sleep tonight. You can't bring Bill Fargher back", while Garrett shouted: "I am proud of it."

The court was cleared of the public and the victim's sister and her friend were taken to a video viewing room to watch sentence being passed.

Similar van

Afterwards, Lord McEwan told the jury, some of whom have asked for counselling: "Grand-standing and histrionics are not uncommon on occasions like this and I wouldn't worry about it.

"I have seen it happen all too often and it doesn't distress me so please put it out of your minds."

The judge named the intended victim of the hit as Daniel Quigg, a landscape contractor who failed to turn up at the pre-arranged spot where he was to have been murdered.

Billy Fargher
Billy Fargher owned a takeaway food and coffee shop
But Mr Fargher arrived in a van similar to Mr Quigg's and got out to walk to a pub for a drink with a friend.

Campbell and Garrett, who had been given a silencer and a sawn-off shotgun by Donnell, ran up behind him.

When he turned round to face them, he protested but was shot twice at point blank range watched by horrified commuters. As he fell, he pleaded: "Why me? Why me?"

The dead man's sister, Ann Fargher, attended court almost every day and said: "What we heard opened my eyes.

"There is a parallel world out there.

"It is inhabited by people like Donnell and his gang who are the very opposite of ordinary decent people like Billy who work hard for themselves and their families.

As the tragedy of what happened to Bill proved, they are capable of killing perfectly innocent people
Ann Fargher
Victim's sister
"In their violent world they have their own sub-culture, their own violent rules and their own sordid lifestyles.

"While Billy was working hard, they were planning and preparing to shoot another man.

"In the past I've heard people say that it's okay as long as these gangsters are maiming and killing each other.

"But as the tragedy of what happened to Bill proved, they are capable of killing perfectly innocent people."

This was the second time Donnell had appeared before a jury charged with murder. In 1989 he was charged with stabbing a man in Johnstone.

Road rage

The trial then heard that Donnell boasted he bore the mark of the devil because he had been born on the sixth day of the sixth month of 1966. The charge against him was found not proven.

In 1993, he was accused of attempting to murder a Paisley couple by firing a shotgun at them. He walked free because of insufficient evidence.

In 1996, he was sentenced to seven years for driving his car at another motorist in a road rage incident.

A fourth man, Shaun O'Neill, 20, was cleared of Mr Fargher's murder.

BBC Scotland's Bob Wylie
"Billy Farghar was on his way for a drink after a day's work"

Fresh appeal over shooting
17 Oct 02  |  Scotland

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