Ex-soldier killed after offending notorious thug

Eddie Dooley died suddenly of a brain haemorrhage near Ikea in Straiton. Picture: Dan Phillips
Eddie Dooley died suddenly of a brain haemorrhage near Ikea in Straiton. Picture: Dan Phillips
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A GRANDFATHER and former royal bodyguard was killed after inadvertently offending a notorious thug.

Edward Dooley had just undergone a prostate operation when he was caught short outside the house of James Hendry.

James Hendry arrives at the High Court in Edinburgh. Picture: TSPL

James Hendry arrives at the High Court in Edinburgh. Picture: TSPL

But when Hendry – whose family has a string of convictions for violence – spotted a stranger relieving himself behind a bush near his home, he attacked Mr Dooley and killed him.

Hendry was convicted of the killing yesterday – ending a six-year campaign for justice waged by Mr Dooley’s family.

The 54-year-old ex-soldier was due to get off the bus beside his home in nearby Bilston, but his family and detectives believe he was unable to wait – possibly as a result of the surgery he underwent – and jumped off two stops early beside the Hendry house near the Ikea store at Straiton. Moments later, Hendry and his brother, Jacob Hendry, 41, arrived home in a taxi from a night out drinking and the younger sibling punched Mr Dooley on the head, knocking him to the ground and inflicting skull and spine fractures.

Mr Dooley’s family called the father-of-two an “absolute gentleman” who was “sorely missed every day by each and every one of us”.

Jacob Hendry also faced charges over the killing, but the Crown announced last night that proceedings against him had been dropped. However, he still faces jail over a separate pub attack where he beat a stranger with a pool cue.

The Hendrys are part of an infamous south Edinburgh family which has racked up numerous convictions for violence over the years.

James Hendry was shot by drug dealer Jamie Bain in the Marmion pub attack in April 2006, which saw his brother-in-law, Alex McKinnon, killed.

Such is their notoriety, fears were raised over potential police leaks reaching the Hendry clan, with officers from the force’s Counter Corruption Unit at one point probing allegations – which proved unfounded – that the case may have been compromised.

A police team, led by Detective Chief Superintendent Lesley Boal, was formed to investigate the case after it was reopened in November 2012 in response to Mr Dooley’s family uncovering new information after conducting its own independent probe of his death.

A source close to the inquiry said: “Mr Dooley had an operation on his prostate three weeks before the attack. He had complained to family he was finding it hard to hold his water if he needed to go.

“The police and family believe he got off the bus early to urinate. He’d no idea who the Hendrys were and went for a pee beside their house. It was the most tragic piece of bad luck that it was next to their home at that exact moment.”

In a statement following the court hearing, Mr Dooley’s family said they were “very pleased with the outcome”.

It added: “Eddie was an absolute gentleman; he was a fantastic, loving husband, father, grandfather, brother, and a loyal friend to many.

“The last six years have been extremely difficult for our family not knowing what happened to him that night, as he made his way home after spending the day with his granddaughter. We have fought very, very hard over the last six years to have the investigation into his death reviewed and reopened.

“We have now achieved this and obtained the justice which he deserves with the continued support of the police and prosecutors. We still find it very difficult to understand why anyone could harm him in the way they did.”

At the High Court in Edinburgh yesterday, Hendry, of Howden Hall Road, admitted the culpable homicide of Mr Dooley by assaulting him at Pentland Lea, Loanhead, on

October 25, 2008.

On that day, Mr Dooley had taken his eldest granddaughter to the cinema to watch High School Musical. Later, Mr Dooley joined a friend in a Newington pub for a drink before heading for his home in Myrtle Crescent, Bilston, by bus.

James Hendry had been out drinking in the Stable Bar in Mortonhall with Jacob before the pair left by taxi.

The court heard Mr Dooley had been urinating in bushes in front of the house, where Hendry’s estranged wife, Billy Jean, and their two children lived, when the cab pulled up.

Advocate depute Alex Prentice told the court an angry voice was heard by witnesses shouting that someone was “p****** in the garden”.

Hendry ran towards Mr Dooley and struck him on the head, knocking him to the ground. When the taxi driver got out to help the victim, Hendry screamed: “Get him in the f****** car or you will end up like him.”

The Hendry brothers shouted and swore at each other over what to do next, with Jacob arguing Mr Dooley needed medical attention.

Jacob made a 999 call stating that Mr Dooley had been “hit by a car or something” while his brother went to a snooker club in Loanhead.

The older brother told police Mr Dooley’s body had been found lying in the street. James Hendry later told officers he had never went to the house, a lie contradicted by witnesses.

Paramedics found Mr Dooley with a bloody face, lying unconscious and unresponsive.

He was rushed to hospital and a CT scan revealed blood around the brain. Doctors decided he had suffered “a non-survivable brain injury” and he died two days later.

A source close to the investigation said: “It’s sickening. Mr Dooley didn’t know the Hendrys, but at the time of the Marmion shooting he had told people he felt so sorry for James Hendry and his family for what they had suffered.

“He had no idea this man was going to kill him a few years later over nothing.”

Hendry’s defence counsel, Gordon Jackson QC , asked for his client’s bail to be continued until sentencing on May 30. Judge Michael O’Grady QC agreed after hearing Hendry suffered “physical and mental” problems stemming from his near-fatal shooting at the Marmion and a later car crash.

Jacob Hendry had been charged with culpable homicide and attempting to defeat the ends of justice.

A Crown Office spokesman said: “After full and careful consideration of the facts and circumstances, and following the plea of guilty from James Hendry, Crown Counsel instructed that there should be no further proceedings in relation to this matter.”

Mr Dooley left the army in 1976 after a roadside bomb in Northern Ireland killed his two best friends while his vehicle, travelling behind, was unscathed. He worked for almost 30 years as an engineer for Scottish Water and at the Royal Edinburgh Hospital as a security officer. His ex-wife, Margaret, died in 2010.

PROTECTING QUEEN AND COUNTRY

EDWARD Dooley was a royal protection officer for the Queen in the 1970s. He also guarded the Queen Mother and Princess Margaret.

Mr Dooley served with Royal Scots in Northern Ireland during the Troubles and protected royals against the IRA.

A source said: “His family was asked whether he may have spoken to the Hendrys about his service against the IRA. Detectives thought it might be a motive. The family said he never discussed his protection work or army service.”

Family’s long campaign for justice is vindicated

JAMES Hendry was convicted after Edward Dooley’s family launched a campaign to bring his killer to justice.

The family was told that his death would remain unexplained after it was ruled that no conclusive evidence of an assault had been found. The Hendry brothers were detained for attempting to pervert the course of justice in 2009, but the Crown found there was “insufficient evidence to proceed with a homicide charge”.

Mr Dooley’s family obtained the post-mortem and forensic reports and had them examined privately by medical and legal teams. They uncovered discrepancies and became convinced he was killed in a vicious attack. The family contacted the News and saw the investigation reopened in 2012.

WHO’S WHO OF INFAMOUS CLAN

James Hendry

NOW facing a lengthy jail sentence for culpable homicide, the road contractor survived a shotgun wound to the chest in the Marmion shooting. He was the first to be hit by gunman Jamie Bain moments after being handed a drink by a barmaid. Hendry, then 27, fell to the ground and crawled towards the pool table while his brother-in-law was fatally injured.

Jacob Hendry

ALSO known as “Jackie”, the 41-year-old faces jail after brutally attacking two strangers at the Liberton Inn in February last year. Hendry, of Essex Brae, Barnton, and Scott Hendry, 46, pleaded guilty in court last Tuesday to assaulting Alexander Miller and Glen Swanson for “no apparent reason”. Hendry struck Mr Miller with a pool cue. Sentence was deferred.

Denholm Hendry

THE 34-year-old, who accompanied James Hendry to court yesterday, was jailed for 21 months in August 2011 for assault. The former amateur boxer was also ordered to pay £7000 to Nicholas Combe after breaking his jaw in 2005. He was one of four men charged with attempting to murder Jamie Bain in the minutes after the Marmion shooting but was not convicted.

Adam Hendry

HENDRY left an apprentice joiner brain damaged in an assault at a party and was jailed for four years last June. The 28-year-old attacked Anthony Smith, 23, in Gracemount in August 2011. Hendry – whose sister, Dionne, was Jamie Bain’s partner – was also jailed for nine months for assaulting the gunman’s mother, father and sister.

Scott Hendry

THE 46-year-old admitted carrying out the savage pub assault with Jacob Hendry on two men standing at a bar. Scott, of Lasswade Road, Liberton, joined the attack started by his co-accused before they fled the scene, leaving the victims needing hospital treatment. The shocking incident was caught on the pub’s CCTV.

Alex Mckinnon

BOXING champ Alex McKinnon was shot and killed in the Marmion incident aged 32. He was a highly regarded boxer and won his bantamweight title in 1993, a year after the death of his father, Colin, in a road crash. An independent building contractor, he had eight brothers and sisters, including Colin, Isaac, Thomas and Shaun.

Isaac Mckinnon

HE was sentenced to five years and eight months in January last year for using his Niddrie home to arrange supplies of heroin and cocaine. McKinnon, 35, of Castlebrae Glebe, was described by detectives as a “key ally” of the Liverpudlian ringleader of their gang and ran couriers. Police recovered nearly £850,000 of Class A drugs from the crime group.

Colin Mckinnon

The 41-year-old was convicted alongside his brother, Thomas, of the sadistic torture of a man who leapt through a window to save his own life. The pair attempted to murder drug dealer David Taylor in a Craigentinny flat in July 2010. They also poured boiling water over victim Margaret Neilson and were jailed for ten years each in March 2011.

Thomas Mckinnon

THE 34-year-old and his brother, Colin, carried out a torture ordeal branded “sickening” by detectives. The McKinnons used David Taylor to sell drugs on their behalf, but suspected he and Margaret Neilson had been stealing from them. Taylor was punched on the head and body, headbutted and stabbed repeatedly while his captors also tried to pour boiling water over him.

Shaun Mckinnon

Shaun, 27, claimed he turned to drug dealing after the recession hit the family roofing business. In April 2010, he was jailed for four-and-a-half years for being part of an eight-strong gang supplying heroin and cocaine. McKinnon, of Castlebrae Glebe, Craigmillar, was tracked by officers driving from the Capital to Manchester to pick up a £50,000 supply of heroin.

James Bain

WEARING a mask, Bain walked into the Marmion pub and shot dead Alex McKinnon and wounded his brother-in-law, James Hendry. Police believed Bain, 29, acted amid fears he would be attacked by relatives of estranged partner Dionne Hendry, whom he brutally beat in the hours before the shotgun rampage. Bain was sentenced to at least 22 years in jail for murder.

Dionne Hendry

MS Hendry was the partner of Jamie Bain and the couple had a volatile relationship which earned them both Asbos while living in Gilmerton Dykes Avenue. The mother of his two children split with Bain shortly before the gun attack and said the killer bombarded her with texts and phone calls telling her “I’m sorry” and “I love you” on the day of the shootings.