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Byline: MARION SCOTT EXCLUSIVE
A CRIMINAL godfather has been accused of ordering the notorious Ice Cream Wars mass murder.
The millionaire gangster has finally been blamed for the horrific massacre of six members of the Doyle family almost 20 years after the fire attack on their home.
The Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission has been investigating the killings and will rule in autumn.
Today, we can reveal how the criminal godfather:
Asked two junkies to torch the family's Glasgow flat the day before the Doyles died.
Ordered one of his enforcers to carry out the attack after the pair took fright.
Was protected by police officers investigating the murder because he was too valuable as an informant.
Let two innocent men go to jail for life to protect his deadly secret.
Our revelations come as the men jailed for the the infamous murders - TC Campbell, 47, and Joe Steele, 38 - prepare to renew their campaign for freedom.
Andrew Doyle, 18, brothers James, 23, and Anthony, 14, father James, 53, sister Christine Halleron, 22, and her 18-month-old son, Mark, all died after their home in Ruchazie, Glasgow, was torched. Another brother, Daniel, was taken to hospital, critically injured, but survived.
One retired officer, who was close to the original investigation, told: "The man behind the Doyle murders was highly prized as a 'grass'.
"There is no question high-ranking officers kept him out of the frame, and fitted up others to take the rap. In those days, fitting up was a way of life.
"If I had to go in the witness box and tell the truth, I'd be sweating. In a fit-up job, we never sweated because it was all planned out before we ever saw the inside of a court."
Confirming the notorious criminal's role in ordering the murders, he said: "He's like the Teflon Don - ruthless, and without any trace of human conscience.
"He has put more guys behind bars than I ever did and I was in the job for more than 20 years.
"He'd turn in rivals to the police one by one until he emerged as a main player.
"His links grew Europe-wide, but every time any attempt was made to catch him red-handed, he mysteriously seemed to know what was coming."
The former cop revealed that the gangster was desperate to remove the Doyle family from the lucrative ice cream routes in Glasgow.
He said: "He was too greedy and a family was wiped out. On the night before the fire, he approached two junkies to start the blaze. They took fright and refused.
"The day after the fire, they got a personal visit and a gun was literally held to their heads until they conveniently suffered amnesia."
Instead, Steele, a petty crook who had no convictions for violence, and Tommy 'TC' Campbell, a prominent member of the feared Barlanark Team, a gang of post office robbers, have spent most of their adult lives behind bars for a crime they swear they did not commit.
They were foot soldiers in escalating Ice Cream Wars, a vicious turf battle over lucrative runs through the housing schemes of Glasgow's East End, where drugs were sold from confectionery vans.
In the early 1980s, opposing families fought to retain their patches, earning thousands of pounds a week per van.
A key player in the turf wars was Tam McGraw, later nicknamed The Licensee.
Also a member of the Barlanark Team, McGraw was named in an indictment in May 1984.
He was accused, along with five others, of attempting to murder one of the Doyle family, Andrew, and plotting violence against him and a teenage girl who worked on one of his vans.
Shotgun bullets had blasted through Andrew's ice-cream van on February 20, 1984, as it went on its round.
McGraw, then aged 32, left the court a hated man when the Crown dropped the charges against him.
Days later, he was admitted to hospital with a fractured skull following a vicious street beating.
Today, McGraw, 49, lives in a pounds 300,000 villa, complete with swimming pool, in Mount Vernon, Glasgow, with wife Margaret. In recent years, one-time gangland ally - now sworn enemy - Paul Ferris has pointed the finger at McGraw, implicating him in the shootings of Ferris's friends, Bobby Glover and Joe Hanlon.
The pair were murdered and dumped in a car on the eve of the funeral of Arthur Thompson jnr in 1991, in what is widely regarded as a tit-for-tat hit.
After being cleared of masterminding a cannabis smuggling ring worth millions four years ago, McGraw now spends most of his time at a luxury villa in Tenerife.
A skilled and prolific robber, McGraw turned his attention to the burgeoning ice cream trade in the 1980s, his wife's redundancy money from a local cigarette factory to fund their first van.
He began running the operation in the Easterhouse area, taking over Fifti's Ices with 50 vans on the road.
McGraw got his Licensee tag when he took over infamous gangster haunt, the now-closed Caravel Bar in Barlanark.
The witness whose evidence virtually sealed the convictions of Campbell and Steele, was also known to McGraw. Drug addict and small-time crook Billy Love claimed in court he had overheard the pair discussing the Doyle fire in a pub.
It was largely his testimony that ensured they were found guilty, but Love has now admitted it was a tissue of lies.
Love claims he was forced by police into signing a statement giving false evidence against Steele and Campbell in return for quashing an armed robbery investigation.
He said: "The statement was all fabricated. There was no truth in it. There was never any conversation, and I have had to live with this on my conscience for years."
Love had twice been refused bail on armed robbery, but was immediately freed after giving his statement about TC and Joe to the police.
He got a not proven verdict on his armed robbery charge. A police source said: "A lot of us in the know were convinced he'd get off the armed robbery charge before he ever saw the inside of a court.
"It was widely held that the robbery had taken place at the same time as the alleged overheard confession. The Doyle murder team wouldn't have wanted to explain how their star witness was at two different places at once.
"There were enormous pressures being brought to bear to catch the Doyle killers. Dupes like TC and Joe Steele were easy fodder. With a bit of imagination, they fitted the picture.
"I knew Joe Steele. He was a wee softie who wouldn't hurt anyone. He'd steal lead from church roofs, but he wouldn't use violence.
"I knew his whole family well, and his mother swore that on the night of the Doyle fire Joe was in bed all night with a bad dose of the flu. I believe her."
The police insider added: "Even TC, who had a fearsome reputation in his younger days, didn't approve of violence against 'civilians'.
"The Barlanark Team were extremely proficient at robbing post offices. They even carried walkie-talkies, and cut off alarm systems with great expertise.
"One time TC was involved in a post office hold up, and was hiding in bushes with his gang, ready to make their move, when they heard a teenage girl being attacked by a rapist.
"One of the gang members alerted the others via their walkie talkies, then the whole lot of them got hold of the would-be rapist who had a teenage girl by the throat and her clothes torn from her body.
"They gave him a doing, took the girl home and left the post office for another day."
Two other Doyle trial witnesses have also said they'd lied under pressure from police.
Joe Granger and his girlfriend Lynn Chalmers claim they were forced by police to lie about the case.
Granger said he was beaten until he signed a statement saying he was the lookout man on the night of the murders, and implicating Steele and Campbell.
When he changed his story in court, he was charged with perjury and jailed for five years.
Two of the leading police officers in the case are now dead.
Detective Chief Superintendent Charles Craig, head of CID at the time, died in 1991.
Craig was also the man who arrested Raymond Gilmore, the man jailed for the 1981 murder of schoolgirl Pamela Hastie.
That case, along with the Doyle murders, are both being looked at by the Scottish Criminal Cases Review Board, which just last month referred the Gilmore case back to the Appeal Court after deciding a miscarriage of justice may have taken place.
The other senior officer, Detective Superintendent Norrie Walker, was found in his fume-filled car in a country lane four years after the Doyle trial, a hose pipe attached to the exhaust.
Crown prosecutors have been accused of a cover-up after legal experts were blocked from seeing crucial papers on the Doyle murders.
The Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission took steps to force the Lord Advocate to hand over the files as part of their own investigation into the mass killing.
The newly-formed SCCRC, led by Professor Sheila McLean, may be Steele and Campbell's last remaining chance of freedom.
After a few short months of freedom four years ago, the duo lost an appeal, and then saw a bid to have fresh evidence heard rejected on a split decision by three judges.
But their high-profile campaign led to calls for an independent committee to look at alleged miscarriages of justice in Scotland, and the SCCRC was formed. At the Court of Session in Edinburgh, Gerard Moynihan QC, for the Commission, argued that all documents involving the Doyle case should be made available for scrutiny.
Mr Moynihan said the SCCRC had already had unrestricted access to certain police papers over the case which suggested "new lines of inquiry".
But he said that the case had been transferred to the commission "with some documents deleted or removed from the files".
He added: "In the past there have been allegations of misconduct, not just on the part of the police, but on the part of certain members of the procurator fiscal service."
He said it was an "exceptional" case and added: "The commission does consider it necessary to look at the whole background and history."
The police insider said: "It will interesting to see if Steele and Campbell finally get justice from a system that has failed them so badly."