`Ice cream' killers must stay in jail Glasgow Two supporters warn Dewar

CAMPAIGNERS CALLING for the release of two men convicted of a series of murders in Glasgow warned yesterday that there would be demonstrations and civil disobedience after Donald Dewar, the Secretary of State for Scotland, ruled that the pair must stay in jail.

Joseph Steele and Thomas "TC" Campbell were sentenced to 20 years imprisonment for the murder of six members of the Doyle family in 1984 in what became known as the "ice-cream war" for control of the city's drugs trade.

The pair protest their innocence and campaigners for the so-called "Glasgow two" last month stormed the Edinburgh office of the Scottish Home Affairs minister, Henry McLeish.

Yesterday, there were threats of further demonstrations after Mr Dewar refused permission for a fresh appeal. Agnes Lafferty, Campbell's sister, said her brother was "absolutely gutted" by the decision, "but we will continue to fight on".

Earlier this year, an attempt at appeal failed and the two men were sent back to prison after 14 months of freedom during which Steele had married. But public interest in the case has remained high, fired by the 14-year legal battle and the gangland background to the killings.

Twenty years ago, criminals realised that ice-cream vans could be a perfect front for drug dealing. Andrew Doyle, 18, was a van driver for the Marchetti brothers, in east Glasgow. Pushed out of two areas, the Marchettis tried to hold firm in their home patch of Garthamlock. Mr Doyle was threatened and shot. Then, on 16 April 1984 someone set fire to his tenement home in the night. He and five other members of his family died.

After a trial at the High Court in Glasgow, Campbell and Steele were convicted of the murders and given life sentences. They have refused to apply for parole, believing that would amount to an admission of guilt.

The families had expected the two men home for Christmas but Mr Dewar judged that there were no fresh arguments to justify referring the case to the Court of Appeal.

John Carroll, solicitor for the two men, said the next step was to take the case to the Criminal Cases Review Commission, when it is established next April to investigate alleged miscarriages of justice. He said he was "not surprised, but disappointed", by the decision. He is optimistic the commission will recommend the case goes back to the Court of Appeal.

In a bitter reaction, Jim Steele, Joseph Steele's brother, said campaigners would ensure Mr Dewar's "political demise" and were prepared to resort to civil disobedience: "Donald Dewar has acted in a very cowardly fashion. We are determined to intensify this campaign and direct it towards him."

Co-ordinator of the two men's campaign, Tommy Sheridan of the Scottish Socialist Party, said it was "a very, very sad day for justice in Scotland" and vowed that the high profile demonstrations would continue.

Mr Sheridan led last month's protest when 30 demonstrators occupied Mr McLeish's suite and unfurled banners proclaiming "Innocents imprisoned" from a balcony.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Guru Careers: .NET Developer / Web Developer

£35-45K (DOE) + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a .NET Developer / Web ...

Recruitment Genius: .NET Web / Software Developer - ASP.NET

£28000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Small and agile digital marketi...

Recruitment Genius: Trainee Accountant

£12000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A national firm of chartered ce...

Recruitment Genius: Full Time and Part Time Digital Designer - North Kent

£20000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This successful web design/deve...

Day In a Page

Revealed: Why Mohammed Emwazi chose the 'safe option' of fighting for Isis, rather than following his friends to al-Shabaab in Somalia

Why Mohammed Emwazi chose Isis

His friends were betrayed and killed by al-Shabaab
'The solution can never be to impassively watch on while desperate people drown'
An open letter to David Cameron: Building fortress Europe has had deadly results

Open letter to David Cameron

Building the walls of fortress Europe has had deadly results
Tory candidates' tweets not as 'spontaneous' as they seem - you don't say!

You don't say!

Tory candidates' election tweets not as 'spontaneous' as they appear
Mubi: Netflix for people who want to stop just watching trash

So what is Mubi?

Netflix for people who want to stop just watching trash all the time
The impossible job: how to follow Kevin Spacey?

The hardest job in theatre?

How to follow Kevin Spacey
Armenian genocide: To continue to deny the truth of this mass human cruelty is close to a criminal lie

Armenian genocide and the 'good Turks'

To continue to deny the truth of this mass human cruelty is close to a criminal lie
Lou Reed: The truth about the singer's upbringing beyond the biographers' and memoirists' myths

'Lou needed care, but what he got was ECT'

The truth about the singer's upbringing beyond
Migrant boat disaster: This human tragedy has been brewing for four years and EU states can't say they were not warned

This human tragedy has been brewing for years

EU states can't say they were not warned
Women's sportswear: From tackling a marathon to a jog in the park, the right kit can help

Women's sportswear

From tackling a marathon to a jog in the park, the right kit can help
Hillary Clinton's outfits will be as important as her policies in her presidential bid

Clinton's clothes

Like it or not, her outfits will be as important as her policies
NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

The wars that come back to haunt us

David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders