Glasgow & West Scotland

Gang convicted of murdering man in Strathaven park in row over £20

Jason McCue Image copyright Police Scotland/BBC
Image caption Jason McCue was attacked in John Hastie Park in Strathaven last July

A gang have been convicted of fatally stabbing a man in a busy park in a row over £20.

James Cook, 51, son Jamie Cook, 28, and Peter Brown, 49, pounced on Jason McCue as families and dog walkers looked on.

The killing occurred at lunchtime in John Hastie Park in Strathaven, South Lanarkshire, in July last year.

The High Court in Glasgow heard Mr McCue, 43, was knifed three times - including once through the heart - before the gang fled the scene.

The Cooks and Brown now face life sentences after they were convicted of murder at the High Court in Glasgow.

They will return to the dock later this month to be sentenced.

Jurors heard how Mr McCue was set upon while in the park with a number of friends.

The popular area was busy at the time with people enjoying the summer sunshine.

The court heard cash was owed to the killers.

'Stabbing motion'

Cook snr was described as being "in charge".

Cook jnr and Brown also went after Mr McCue's friends James Adams, Colin Inglis and Thomas Sutherland.

But, the trio soon turned on Mr McCue, who ended up on the ground.

Cook snr was heard ordering the attack.

Witnesses then spotted his son striking out in a "stabbing motion".

Janet Guy recalled how she witnessed the attack as she walked with her grandchildren and dog.

The 69-year-old said she saw one man with a knife and another with a hammer.

The retired hospital supervisor added: "I thought at first they were mucking about - but then realised it was more serious.

"There was a man on the ground and he was being kicked from either side.

"I panicked a bit and thought I've got two grandchildren here, I've got to get them out the park and we doubled back."

'Kicking and jumping'

The victim's friend, Mr Adams, recalled how he was initially chased by Cook jnr - known as Cookie.

He spotted Cook snr and Brown attacking Mr McCue and Sutherland before the son joined in.

Mr Adams told police: "I didn't see Jason move again.

"I definitely saw all three of them.

"Cookie, his dad and Peter kicking and jumping on Jason and Tam's head."

The gang escaped to the family shop, Cookie Dough, which is close to the park.

James Cook changed his top while the son told his mother he had been stabbed by an unknown man.

Lord Matthews deferred for reports.

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