William Sinclair Manson

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Scotland and its History. (Crime) 1.

A turf war was breaking out among the ice cream vendors in 1980s Glasgow.

Drugs and stolen goods were being sold by the vendors as they plied the city’s children with sweet treats.

But the lucrative trade was causing conflict and rivals raided each others vans and fired shotguns at windscreens.

The violence reached its peak on April 16 1984 when six members of the Doyle family were wiped out in a deadly fire in Ruchazie.

Teenager Andrew Doyle, nicknamed “Fat Boy”, was a driver for the Marchetti firm and had resisted being intimidated into distributing drugs.

There were attempts to take over his run but his resistance had already led to him being shot by an unidentified assailant through the windscreen of his van.

The top-floor flat where Doyle lived with his family was doused with petrol and set alight.

The blaze killed James Doyle, aged 53, his daughter Christina Halleron, 25; her 18-month-old son Mark, three of James’ sons, James, 23, Andrew and 14-year-old Tony.

The public were outraged at the deaths and Strathclyde Police arrested several people over the following months, eventually charging six. Four were tried and convicted of offences relating to the vendettas. The remaining two, Thomas “T C” Campbell and Joe Steele, were tried for the murders, and convicted unanimously.

What resulted was a 20-year fight by the two men to clear their names. They were both freed in 2004 when their convictions were quashed by the appeal courts.

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