Page last updated at 14:06 GMT, Friday, 5 March 2010

Life sentences for Glasgow street murder teenagers

Anthony Ford
Mr Ford died in hospital the day after the attack last July

Two 15-year-old boys have been given life sentences for murdering a man in an apparent revenge attack.

The pair, who cannot be named for legal reasons, set upon Anthony Ford, 30, as he walked his dog in the Govan area of Glasgow last July.

At the High Court in Glasgow they were each ordered to be detained for a minimum of 11 years.

Another teenager, John Gallagher, 17, was sentenced to nine years for culpable homicide.

A fourth teenager, Daryl Barney, 18, was given community service after being convicted of assault.

The court heard that Gallagher, who blamed Mr Ford for a previous attack on his father in 2007, led the fatal assault after he and his friends met the victim accidently in the street.

Temporary judge John Beckett QC told Gallagher: "You initiated the events which resulted in your young friends being convicted of murder.

"If it was not for you and your actions I am quite sure that Mr Ford would not have been killed."

It was a crime committed by a group of youths in circumstances where Anthony Ford had no chance of escape
Temporary judge John Beckett QC

Mr Ford was chased and scaffolding clamps, bits of wood and a pole were thrown at him.

He tried to defend himself with a scaffolding pole during the attack on Harhill Street, but was disarmed and struck with it.

He was then repeatedly kicked on the body as he lay on the ground.

Mr Ford was eventually knocked unconscious by one of the 15-year-olds, who was aged just 14 at the time of the attack.

The court heard that the youngster handed his mobile phone to girls standing nearby before swinging the fatal blow which fractured Mr Ford's skull.

The 30-year-old victim was taken to the city's Southern General Hospital, but died the following day.

'Moment of madness'

Passing sentence, Judge Beckett told the two 15-year-olds that in determining the punishment part of their sentences he took account of their age, and the fact that the boy who struck the fatal blow had been doing well at school.

He said: "There are aggravating features to this murder.

"It was a crime committed by a group of youths in circumstances where Anthony Ford had no chance of escape.

"He was overwhelmed by the force of numbers and the violence used against him."

Defence counsel for all four accused said that they expressed remorse and regret for what had happened.

Brian McConnachie QC, who represented the boy who was 14 when he carried out the murder, described his actions as "a moment of madness which will live with him for the rest of his life."

Neil Murray QC, representing the other boy convicted of murder, described the killer's upbringing as "chaotic" and "worse than anything Dickens could have imagined in Victorian London."

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