Kevin 'Gerbil' Carroll murder trial hears he was 'a nutcase'

A murder trial has been told gangland figure Kevin "Gerbil" Carroll, who was shot to death in an Asda car park, was "a nutcase".

Retired policeman George Gallacher, 54, was giving evidence at the trial of 30-year-old Ross Monaghan, who denies murdering Mr Carroll in Robroyston, Glasgow, on January 13, 2010.

Mr Gallacher told the High Court in Glasgow on Monday that he had seen Mr Carroll in the passenger seat of an Audi A3 car at Anniesland Cross, Glasgow, days before he died.

He said he recognised Mr Carroll because he had been involved in the drugs and surveillance police squad for the previous seven years, adding: "He had been the subject of a couple of operations."

Asked by defence QC Derek Ogg about "the Gerbil's reputation", Mr Gallacher replied: "I was aware of him. He was a nutcase, basically. I would imagine his fellow drug dealers would not have been happy to deal with him. He was not a nice person."

The QC asked Mr Gallacher whether people feared being abducted by Mr Carroll, to which he replied: "He was at that level of criminality. There is no doubt at all."

Mr Ogg added: "If we hear from other drug dealers they were terrified of the Gerbil does that give you some insight?" Mr Gallacher said: "It is quite possible that could happen."

Shot dead

The jury heard that Mr Carroll was sitting in the back seat of a three-door Audi A3 when he was shot dead. Mr Ogg asked the retired policeman: "Were you aware he [Mr Carroll] had been shot on previous occasions?" Mr Gallacher replied: "I wasn't aware he had been."

Earlier the former policeman told advocate depute Iain McSporran, prosecuting, that he saw a VW Golf in the same area being driven all over the place like in a "Hollywood movie".

He noted part of the VW's registration which was 55 EZZ.

Cross-examined by Mr Ogg, he said that cars were in front of him, but he could not say what their positions were relative to each other.

It is alleged that while masked and acting with others, Monaghan murdered 29-year-old Mr Carroll by repeatedly discharged loaded handguns at him, shooting him on the head and body. Monaghan is also charged with attempting to defeat the ends of justice by disposing of a revolver, pistol and ammunition within undergrowth in Coatbridge and Airdrie, both Lanarkshire. It is also claimed a car, bearing false number plate YF55 EZZ, was set on fire.

Monaghan faces a number of firearms charges. He denies all the charges against him and has lodged a special defence of incrimination blaming Mr X, who cannot be named for legal reasons, and seven others.

The trial before judge Lord Brailsford continues.