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Accountant gave false alibi for gangster after shooting

David MacFarlane, 61, has been jailed for three years after lying under oath.

MacFarlane was jailed at the High Court in Glasgow.
MacFarlane was jailed at the High Court in Glasgow. Spindrift

An accountant who gave a false alibi for a gangster involved in a torture attack has been jailed for three years.

David MacFarlane , 61, from Newton Mearns, East Renfrewshire, was under oath when he told a sheriff David Sell was at his home on the same day as the attack, which saw a man shot in the leg.

The 61-year-old insisted the date given was correct because it was his sister's birthday.

Sell, a member of Scotland's "most sophisticated" underworld mob, later pleaded guilty to his part in the crime which took place in 2015 and MacFarlane was charged with perjury.

During a trial at the High Court in Glasgow, MacFarlane denied deliberately lying and claimed he was "mistaken" about the date of Sell's visit to his flat in Thorntonhall, South Lanarkshire.

Sentencing him for perjury, judge Lord Clark told MacFarlane: "There is no suggestion you had any involvement in this brutal and violent offence, but you said on oath he was at your home that day and said you knew because it was your sister's birthday.

"Your position at trial was that you had made a mistake, however the jury concluded you had deliberately given false evidence on oath.

David Sell admitted being involved in the attack.
David Sell admitted being involved in the attack.

"As it turned out this had no impact on the case as the accused pled guilty.

"Perjury must be dealt with severely. When an oath is taken to tell the truth that is what must be done."

During the trial, MacFarlane claimed an "agitated" Sell, 51, turned up at his home and told him he had been "threatened by two Irishmen".

The accountant claimed his one-time client spent the night and left the next morning.

Sell was later charged with being involved in an attack that saw a man shot in the legs over a drug debt.

MacFarlane told the trial he was then contacted by Sell's lawyer about the meeting at his home.

This lead to the accountant giving a legal "precognition" under oath at Hamilton Sheriff Court in September 2017.

But, just months after he tried to help Sell's defence, the gangster pleaded guilty to the abduction and torture and was jailed for almost 16 years.

Defence QC Donald Findlay said: "Mr MacFarlane got caught up in something which was not of his making. A decent human being and a decent man is sitting in the High Court.

"He goes out of his way to help other people. By helping Mr Sell he ends up here. It is a sad matter for him. This is not a man who poses a risk to the public."

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