Men jailed after gym owner shot dead on his own doorstep

Neil Anderson and Thomas Guthrie jailed for more than 40 years for their roles in the assassination of Gary More.

Men jailed after gym owner shot dead on his own doorstep Facebook

Two men involved in the assassination of a gym owner on his doorstep have been jailed for a total of more than 40 years.

Neil Anderson, 45, and Thomas Guthrie, 25, acted with others in the fatal shooting of Gary More, 32, in Airdrie, North Lanarkshire, on September 6, 2018.

Anderson was sentenced to 21 years and nine months while Thomas Guthrie got 21 years and seven months.

Anderson lured Mr More from his home moments before a gunman – who has never been identified – emerged from a car and repeatedly blasted him on the head and body.

Guthrie was the getaway driver.

Mr More had been warned by police about a potential threat to his safety weeks before the killing.

Anderson was convicted last month at the High Court in Glasgow of murdering Mr More.

He was found guilty five years after he walked free from the same dock when he was accused of being involved in a £7m cocaine empire.

Guthrie – paid six figures to take part in the shooting – pled guilty to murder before the trial.

Judge Lord Mulholland told the pair: “This was pre-planned and you both had a part to play. Neil Anderson induced him to leave his house and present a clear aim of sight for the assassin.

Thomas Guthrie drove the assassin to the place where he was shot, reccied (reccy) the place the night before and was paid money for it.

“Mr More was shot 11 times with three times to the head – there was no prospect of him surviving the brutal prolonged attack.”

The judge added that Mr More’s family have been given a life sentence.

Anderson, of Bothwell, South Lanarkshire, put his two thumbs up and waved to the public gallery as he was led from court.

The trial was shown CCTV of Anderson arriving at Mr More’s house in a hired Berlingo van shortly before the murder.

Anderson – who was eating a bag of chips – and Mr More were then seen chatting at the front of the property before a white Skoda pulled up beside them.

The gunman left the car and repeatedly fired at Mr More as Anderson walked off screen.

The shooter then sprinted back into the car with driver Guthrie racing off. The court heard Anderson stayed at the scene for around 13 minutes and dialled 999 before leaving.

The Skoda was later found torched near Milngavie, East Dunbartonshire.

Mr More’s cause of death was “gunshot wounds to the head and neck.” One had passed completely through the brain.

Anderson denied in evidence of being involved in a plot to lure Mr More out of his home stating it was: “So far from the truth, it’s unbelievable.”

Mr Ewing asked Anderson had he pressured Mr More over “drug debts”.

Anderson and his 37-year-old brother David were cleared mid-trial of being involved in cocaine dealing after the allegation was dropped.

Neil Anderson told the advocate depute: “I was acquitted of being involved in drugs, how could I do that?

“I have not been involved in drugs with Gary More or anyone else. I have been acquitted and now I’m being pressured.”

Detective sergeant Nick Eaton earlier told the trial how Mr More was given a ‘police personal safety warning’ six weeks before the murder.

DS Eaton said Mr More signed the document but was not “interested” in it.

Mr More’s older sister Lindsey Blaney, 36, told jurors that she had “suspected” he was involved in illegal drugs.

She stated she was asked for £5000 a few months before his death but refused. She said: “He told me he needed to pay something earlier than he thought he had to pay it.”

It was revealed Mr More had a property in Murcia, Spain, and a caravan at a holiday park in Ayrshire.

Neil Anderson’s QC Donald Findlay asked her: “How was he able to fund all that?”

Miss Blaney replied: “I knew he had a gym and I suspect he funded it through what I already said.”

Mr More’s friend and neighbour David Hughes, 41, told jurors he had previously delivered money to a man in Bothwell on the victim’s behalf.

The joiner added that he met the same man at the murder scene after hearing a noise outside his home.

Prosecutor Mr Ewing put to him: “What did you ask him?”

Mr Hughes replied: “Who it was that done it.”

Mr Ewing then said: “What did he say?”

Mr Hughes responded: “He could smell it…I didn’t know [what he meant] I was confused.”

Guthrie, who is serving six years for six assault and robberies as well traffic offences, told prison officers he was paying back a debt and “didn’t know the reason for driving”.

Prosecutor Mr Ewing said: “He stated that he was paid £100,000 for driving.”

Guthrie also made admissions to his then girlfriend in the month before in September 2019.

Guthrie asked his partner the day after the shooting if she knew about “that thing that happened in Airdrie”.

Mr Ewing said: “He advised her he was driving the Skoda that was involved and stated ‘I don’t do anything, I just drive’.”

A police raid on his family’s home in Glasgow’s Maryhill recovered a phone that had maps of where the Skoda was burned out.

Data from the phone also matched the known movements of the car that drove past Mr More’s home the night before the shooting.

Neil and David Anderson were acquitted by the jury of behaving in a threatening or abusive manner towards Mr More aggravated by a connection to serious organised crime.

Mr Findlay told the court that Neil Anderson continues to protest his innocence and stated he believes he has been subjected to a “miscarriage of justice”.

Thomas Ross, defending Guthrie, said: “His conduct cannot be mitigated and it was a very bad decision on his part to become involved”.

Police Scotland welcomed the sentences handed out on Wednesday.

Detective superintendent Andrew Patrick said: “Gary More was fatally shot outside of his own home in a planned and reckless attack. This investigation has been long and complicated, and although it continues, two people have now been brought to justice.

“We believe that at least one other person was involved in this incident and they can rest assured that we will do everything we can to also bring them to justice.”

STV News is now on WhatsApp

Get all the latest news from around the country

Follow STV News
Follow STV News on WhatsApp

Scan the QR code on your mobile device for all the latest news from around the country

WhatsApp channel QR Code