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Last Updated: Wednesday, 29 June, 2005, 14:22 GMT 15:22 UK
Trio given life for flat killings
David Gillespie, Tony Coyle and Ian Mitchell
David Gillespie, Tony Coyle and Ian Mitchell were brutally murdered
A woman, her teenage son and his friend have been jailed for life following the murders of three men in a Glasgow flat.

Edith McAlinden, 37, will have to serve a minimum of 13 years before being eligible for parole.

Her son John, 17, and 16-year-old Jamie Gray were each given a minimum tariff of 12 years.

McAlinden admitted killing David Gillespie 42; her son to killing Ian Mitchell, 67, and Gray to killing Tony Coyle, 71.

Three separate guilty pleas were accepted at the High Court in Glasgow at the end of May.

They were sentenced at the High Court in Dunfermline on Wednesday.

Edith McAlinden, John McAlinden and Jamie Gray
McAlinden, her son John and Jamie Gray admitted separate charges

McAlinden had been the girlfriend of Mr Gillespie. The pair were both homeless, as was McAlinden's 17-year-old son John.

The court heard that the men were subjected to "appalling levels of savage violence" at the flat on Dixon Avenue in the Crosshill area of the city last October.

They were attacked with a variety of weapons, including an axe, a baseball bat, golf clubs, a hammer, boiling water, knives, metal files, a belt and pieces of wood.

Passing sentence, Lady Dorrian said of Edith McAlinden: "I recognise that you were initially charged with three murders whereas the Crown have accepted a plea to one murder and that in very different terms from the way in which it was originally charged.

"In all the circumstances I fix the punishment part at 13 years.

The mother of Mr Gillespie's children, Violet Cahill
Violet Cahill was "disgusted" with the sentences

"In doing so, I have taken account of the fact that you tendered a plea of guilty, which although tendered during trial, nevertheless cut short what would otherwise have been a much longer trial.

"And I have reduced the punishment part from the 14 which I would otherwise have imposed."

Reacting to the sentence, the mother of Mr Gillespie's children, Violet Cahill, said: "I am just disgusted, yet they go down the stairs laughing as if the whole thing is a big joke.

"There are animals on the street better than these people. They are scum.

"My children stay up crying all night because they've lost their dad."

Trio admit 'savage' flat killings
26 May 05 |  Scotland
Triple murder flat ceiling shook
13 May 05 |  Scotland

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