Three jailed for life after gunning down man in broad daylight

Graham Williamson was targeted with a sawn off shotgun in the fatal attack on August 17, 2020.

Derek Felvus, Thomas Duris and James Baillie sentenced for murder of Graham Williamson in South Lanarkshire Police Scotland

Three killers who gunned down a South Lanarkshire man in broad daylight have been jailed for life for the murder.

Graham Williamson, 26, was shot at his home in Caithness Street, Blantyre, following a simmering feud.

Mr Williamson was targeted with a sawn off shotgun in the fatal attack by Derek Felvus, Thomas Duris and James Baillie, who were all convicted of committing the murder on August 17, 2020, following a trial last month.

Felvus, 25, and Duris, 28, were each ordered to serve at least 23 years in jail before they can seek release when they were sentenced on Friday. Baillie , 26, was ordered to serve 21 years.

A judge told the trio at the High Court in Edinburgh: “This was a premeditated murder organised and carried out by professional drug dealers to further their criminal interests.”

Lord Fairley said that all three were shown on the evidence to have been party to and participated in the plan to murder their target who they hunted for before Duris shot him at close range.

The judge said: “The motive for the murder seems to have been to try to re-establish the dominance and criminal reputation of a substantial operation for the sale of Class A drugs that was then being run jointly by you Mr Felvus and Mr Duris.

“That operation had apparently, on the evidence I heard, funded a lifestyle of relative luxury enjoyed by both of you,” said Lord Fairley.

The trio had earlier denied murdering Mr Williamson but were convicted of the crime after trial.

Jurors were shown footage of a masked gunman running up the street before shooting the victim and then getting into a getaway car.

Violence was sparked after Felvus was recorded hiding in a Chinese restaurant after being confronted days before the killing. Footage of the incident was uploaded to social media.

Felvus then linked up with his accomplices to stage a revenge attack on their victim. Afterwards, gunman Duris told an associate: “No one will want it any more. This will take us to another level.”

The trial heard there were a number of incidents in the lead up to the fatal shooting, including Mr Williamson’s car being torched.

He and others had confronted Felvus and a friend at The Shanghai Teahouse in Bothwell. He was caught on camera trying to hold a door closed while begging staff for a weapon. The footage was then put on Instagram.

Prosecutor Greg Farrell told jurors: “The purpose was to embarrass and humiliate Felvus, show him hiding and calling for the police.”

“This did not fit with the public image Felvus was trying to project to the world,” said the advocate depute.
He posted a video aimed at his rivals stating: “See you soon boys”.

Mr Farrell said this was a threat which Felvus intended to act on. Duris arrived from Spain and Baillie was recruited as a getaway driver.

Mr Williamson was shot at his home as he dealt with a recovery firm called out to come and collect his burnt-out car.

As he went into the back garden a gunman came from behind and fired at him before returning to a stolen Skoda used in the hit.

The killers then fled to Edinburgh where it was said they “bragged” about the deed to others. Felvus was also described as “freaking out” and warning a man to keep quiet and get rid of mobile phones.

Duris was later extradited from Spain to stand trial for the murder.

Felvus claimed that Duris carried out the shooting but maintained that he was unaware that the gunman had a firearm.

Defence solicitor advocate James Stephenson, for Felvus, said: “He wishes to again state to the court he is remorseful for the loss of life and the upset that has been caused to the victim’s family.”

Ian Duguid QC, for Duris, said that his client continued to deny involvement in the murder. He said: “This wasn’t a fight of his making or a dispute of his making in that he was living in Spain at the time.”

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