​City’s violent undercurrents - John McLellan

​I won’t be alone in being shocked by the shooting of gangster Marc Webley on Hogmanay, as sharp a reminder as is possible that for all the many virtues extolled about life in Edinburgh, some people live lives that are unimaginable for the vast majority.
Marc Webley posted a video days before Hogmanay shootingMarc Webley posted a video days before Hogmanay shooting
Marc Webley posted a video days before Hogmanay shooting

​But the video he posted just before his assassination was every bit as chilling as his murder, in the way he glorified a life of extreme violence and goaded his enemies in a way that was, a lot sooner than he expected, never going to end well.

There are mercifully few people who regard extreme violence and murder as a lifestyle choice, but knowing they are here and living among us makes it easier to understand why communities can be intimidated into refusing to co-operate with police.

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Webley did not give evidence when two men were tried for attacking him with a machete and when he was tried for attempted murder, the case collapsed because a key witness could not confirm his identity in court, something which presumably took prosecutors by surprise.

It might be fresh material for crime writers, but these incidents, plus the Chester Street shooting of Bradley Welsh in 2019 and the Marmion pub gun attack in 2006 were reminders that hard gangsterism bubbles away beneath the surface of Edinburgh society erupting occasionally, but with ever-present danger.

And with recent figures showing 2.7 per cent of all UK adults use cocaine at least once a year, more than one in 40, it’s not hard to work out why.

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