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Last Updated: Friday, 29 April, 2005, 16:24 GMT 17:24 UK
Drugs gang found guilty of murder
The scene of the murder
Paul McDowall was murdered in the street last year
Members of a Glasgow drugs gang have been found guilty of murder and conspiracy to murder following a high court trial in Dunfermline.

The trio were also convicted of drugs dealing, firearms offences and perverting the course of justice.

Robert O'Hara, 27, known as the Birdman, led the drugs gang which terrorised the Possil area of Glasgow.

O'Hara, Robert Murray and Colin Mackay were found guilty of murdering Paul McDowall last July.

A fourth man, Brian Kelly, who had looked after guns for the gang, was found guilty of conspiracy to murder.

Baseball bats

The six-week trial heard that Mr McDowall, 25, from Possil, was a pawn in a drugs war between O'Hara's gang and a rival operation.

Mr McDowall was attacked in daylight, at about 2100 BST, while walking home from the pub.

He was bludgeoned with baseball bats and stabbed to death.

Guns were recovered during the investigation

When police raided a flat in Cumbernauld they found the gang's arms cache which included a machine gun, a sawn off shotgun, several handguns and ammunition for all of them.

The four will be sentenced in three weeks' time.

Chief Inspector Michael Orr of Strathclyde Police said witnesses from the local community were crucial in securing the convictions.

He said: "The impact on the local community of taking violent drug dealers off the street is massive.

"What we're finding in recent cases is members of the public are coming forward and speaking about these people."

The police chief added that when ordinary members of the public come forward to help they receive "every support from us".

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