Glasgow & West Scotland

Woman tells of hearing gun shots in Ross Sherlock case

High Court in Glasgow

A social worker has told a jury that she heard two or three loud bangs as she walked from school with her daughter and thought it was fireworks.

Jennifer Harkins said she was leaving Bishopbriggs' St Helen's Primary when she saw a man walking to the school.

Seconds later she heard a loud bang, she told the High Court in Glasgow.

She was giving evidence at the trial of William Burns and Alexander Porter who deny attempting to murder Ross Sherlock.

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

They also deny assaulting crime journalist Russell Findlay to the danger of his life at his home in the west end of Glasgow on 23 December by throwing sulphuric acid in his face.

The prosecution claim that these alleged offences were aggravated by a connection with serious organised crime.

'Moving fast'

Ms Harkins, 36, from Glasgow, told the court of seeing a man wearing a hi-vis yellow hooded jacket and trousers walking towards the school.

She was asked by prosecutor Richard Goddard: "How far away from you was this man?"

Ms Harkins replied: "About 30 feet."

She added: "He seemed well built, stocky. It was hard to tell his height."

Mr Goddard said: "Did you become aware of something happening?"

She responded: "There was a loud bang. There was more than one. I think maybe two or three."

Ms Harkins was asked how soon after seeing the man did she hear the bangs and replied: "Just after. They were coming from Dornoch Place. People seemed to be moving fast. Initially I thought it was fireworks."

She added: "I took my girl and we ran down towards the car. I had started to question whether it was fireworks."

Later she said she discovered there had been a shooting near the school.

Mr Goddard asked her: "Would you be able to recognise the man again?" She replied: "No."

Special defence

Earlier another parent Alan McCaffery, 40, a construction worker, from Glasgow, told the court that he saw the gunman for four seconds, but said he did not see his face.

He said: "He had his head down. He wasn't running, he was walking fast not making eye contact. I only saw him for four seconds or something like that. He was about eight to 10 feet away.

"He had something in his hand which appeared to be a gun."

Mr McCaffery described the man as well built and about 5ft 7in to 5ft 8in, but said he never saw his face.

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

He has also lodged a special defence incriminating James Boyce, whose whereabouts are unknown, for the shooting.

The trial before judge Lord Matthews continues.

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