Man jailed for culpable homicide denied bid to become a landlord

John Maguire was sentenced to four years in prison following an incident in the car park of a Cumbernauld garden centre in 2007.

Man jailed for culpable homicide after striking man with wheel brace denied bid to become Glasgow landlord Getty Images

A man who was jailed for culpable homicide after striking his victim with a wheel brace has been refused permission to rent flats in Glasgow.

John Maguire was sentenced to four years in prison following an incident in the car park of a Cumbernauld garden centre in 2007.

Andrew Best, 44, died from injuries sustained during the attack. David Hughes, who stabbed the victim multiple times, was also jailed for his part in the incident after being convicted of murder in 2009.

Mr Maguire, who said he is a landlord in Renfrewshire, asked to be entered into the register of private landlords, but his bid was narrowly rejected by the city’s licensing committee.

Councillors voted four to three to refuse the application, after hearing about Mr Maguire’s criminal history. The applicant claimed he was “young and naive” at the time of the incident, and now wants “to get on with my life”.

A council official told the committee that Mr Maguire had been “convicted of manslaughter” in February 2008 and sentenced to four years in prison. He was also convicted of contempt of court and sentenced to 18 months imprisonment, councillors heard.

The official, who said Mr Maguire doesn’t currently own any properties in the city, added he had previously applied to be registered as a landlord in Glasgow in 2009 and 2013.

Cllr Alex Wilson, SNP, the licensing committee chairman, said: “This is going to follow you for the rest of your life. Is there anything you can say to the committee regarding how your situation has changed?”

Mr Maguire said he takes full responsibility for his actions, adding: “I’m now older, I’ve got a family, I’ve changed my life.”

He said he has “had to come to terms with the fact that I’ve been involved in a horrendous crime where someone has lost their life”.

The applicant, now 39, added he was 22 at the time of the incident. He has been a landlord in Renfrewshire for the last 11 or 12 years, he said.

Asked about his experience as a landlord, he told the committee he has had “no issues” and whenever there have been “problem tenants”, he has dealt with them through the “correct channels”.

Mr Maguire also said he owned properties in Glasgow prior to the offence, but he sold them when his licence was revoked. “I thought it would be best to apply to this council beforehand,” he added. “I’ve never rented in Glasgow without having a licence.”

Cllr Zen Ghani, SNP, asked about the contempt of court conviction. Mr Maguire said he “couldn’t give evidence against” his co-accused.

He later added: “I’m not trying to diminish responsibility, I think I was young and naive. I was out of my depth with older people.”

Cllr Jill Pidgeon, Labour, seconded by Cllr Sean Ferguson, SNP, moved that the application to be registered should be granted. Cllr Wilson, seconded by Cllr Ghani, put forward an amendment that it should be refused.

Councillors on the committee voted four to three in favour of the amendment.

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