Glasgow & West Scotland

Ross Sherlock murder bid trial told of massage alibi

A man blamed for a murder bid outside a primary school has told a jury he was at a spa when the shooting took place.

James Boyce told the High Court in Glasgow he was getting a facial and massage at Blythswood Hotel.

The 31-year-old was giving evidence at the trial of William Burns and Alexander Porter, who deny attempting to murder Ross Sherlock.

Mr Boyce has been named as the gunman in a special defence of incrimination lodged by Mr Burns.

Mr Burns, 56, and Mr Porter, 48, both from Paisley, deny attempting to murder Mr Sherlock by repeatedly discharging a handgun at him on 24 September 2015 at Dornoch Place and Ronaldsay Drive, Bishopbriggs.

'Special deal'

In evidence, Mr Boyce told prosecutor Richard Goddard that he went to the hotel with his partner because there was a special deal on.

The jury was shown an appointments book from the spa which showed the couple checked in at 14:07.

Mr Boyce: "We went earlier, there was a swimming pool, a steam room and a sauna."

The court heard that Mr Boyce was interviewed by police in relation to the shooting after DNA matching his was found on a taping taken from three gun cartridges discovered at the scene.

Mr Boyce was questioned and released without charge after telling detectives he had an alibi.

Mr Goddard asked Mr Boyce: "It may be suggested to you you were at the shooting and you pulled the trigger, and he said: "I don't want to answer that in case I incriminate myself."

He was asked if he knew Ross Sherlock and replied: "I don't want to answer that."

'Appointment changed'

Mr Boyce also refused to say when he was asked how DNA matching his was found on one or more of the cartridges.

The jury heard that the treatments were originally booked for 15:15, but that was changed to 15:45.

Defence counsel Thomas Ross, representing Mr Burns, asked who had changed the appointment and Mr Boyce replied: "I've not got a clue."

Mr Ross said: "That puts the appointment back a further half hour from the shooting at Bishopbriggs," and Mr Boyce replied: "Yes."

Before giving evidence, Mr Boyce was warned by judge Lord Matthews that he did not need to answer questions which might incriminate him.

Mr Ross asked Mr Boyce if he remembered the murder of Kevin 'Gerbil' Carroll in 2010 and he confirmed he did.

The defence counsel then asked: "Do you remember Ross Monaghan was charged with this," and he replied: "Aye, it was a big story."

Mr Boyce was then asked if he knew Ross Monaghan and replied: "I don't want to answer that."

Mr Ross went on: "Do you know if Ross Monaghan is friends with Ross Sherlock," and he replied: "I don't want to answer that."

Burned-out car

Earlier the court heard from forensic scientist and firearms expert Colin Murphy who said that in his opinion three shots were fired in Dornoch Place, Bishopbriggs, on 24 September 2015.

Another forensic scientist Martin Fairley told the jury that a burned-out silver Volkswagen Golf which was found in Bishopbriggs shortly after the shooting had DNA matching that of Mr Porter on the driver's door handle.

Defence counsel Susan Duff, representing Porter, asked Mr Fairley: "You can say there is DNA on the door handle, but you can't say when or under what circumstances it got there," and he replied: "That's correct."

Mr Burns and Mr Porter also deny assaulting journalist Russell Findlay to the danger of his life at his home in the west end of Glasgow on 23 December 2015 by throwing sulphuric acid in his face.

Mr Burns has lodged a special defence of alibi in relation to the attempted murder of Mr Sherlock, claiming he was working at Guinea Enviro in Maryhill, Glasgow, at the time.

He has also lodged a special defence incriminating James Boyce for the shooting.

The trial before judge Lord Matthews continues.

More on this story

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites