Second appeal over ice cream murders

The two men convicted of Glasgow's notorious ice cream war murders have been given another chance to clear their names, 17 years after they were first jailed.

The two men convicted of Glasgow's notorious ice cream war murders have been given another chance to clear their names, 17 years after they were first jailed.

Lawyers acting for Thomas Campbell and Joe Steele are demanding they be released after a decision by the criminal cases review commission to refer their convictions to the court of appeal for the second time.

Their solicitor, John Carroll, said a procedural hearing would be held before the end of the year, and he is asking for the pair to be released on bail from Shotts prison, Lanarkshire, pending the full appeal hearing.

In 1984 Campbell and Steele received life sentences for murdering six members of the Doyle family in an arson attack at their home in Glasgow.

The murders were said to have been provoked by turf wars over the ice cream vans which toured Glasgow's housing schemes.

Alongside their legal trade, some vans also sold heroin and other drugs across the city's east end.

Campbell and Steele have always protested their innocence. Campbell has gone on hunger strike on various occasions, while Steele embarked on a series of escapes. On one such break from jail he glued himself to the gates of Buckingham Palace.

In late 1996 Campbell and Steele received their first legal taste of freedom when they were freed on bail pending an appeal. That appeal, however, was turned down by the split decision of three judges and the two returned to jail in 1998.

Their first appeal was based on the admission of a key witness, Billy Love, that he had lied under oath, and allegations that police officers had fabricated evidence and falsified statements.

It is understood the new appeal will use fresh evidence, including the allegation that armed robbery charges against Mr Love were dropped when he agreed to give evidence against Campbell and Steele.


Gerard Seenan

The GuardianTramp

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