Third murder in drugs war

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The Independent Online
BY JOHN ARLIDGE

Scotland Correspondent

Police attempting to suppress Glasgow's gangland drugs warwere yesterday investigating links between the murder of a 45-year-old man on Sunday and a spate of shootings last month which left two men dead.

Officers believe the death of Jimmy McHugh, who was shot in the Ashfield Bar in Possilpark, a notorious heroin dealing area, late on Sunday is related to drugs. They say a knife attack on another man, Michael Docherty, 26, in Paisley hours earlier could be the result of a violent feud between rival pushers.

Mr McHugh was shot as he left the Ashfield Bar shortly before 11pm. He was confronted by two men in the doorway and killed with a shotgun.

Mr Docherty suffered stab wounds to his neck and chest after he answered a knock at his front door. His condition is described as serious.

The latest attacks follow the murders last month of two Paisley men - Andrew McLaughlin, 31, who was shot outside his house, and Brian Cochrane, 31, shot as he drove through the Pollok area of Glasgow.

Police said yesterday it was "too early" to establish a motive for Mr McHugh's murder. But detectives believe he is the latest victim of an increasingly violent underworld battle for control of Glasgow's £200m heroin and tranquillisers market.

Senior detectives in Paisley, five miles from Glasgow, know the identities of some of the criminal families behind the recent upsurge in violence but say that local people are too scared to come forward to give evidence against them.

Irene Adams, Labour MP for Paisley North, who has been threatened by members of one of the families, yesterday urged local people to "cast aside their anxiety and act together now to clear this area of the drugs and guns that threaten our communities".

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