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HMA v Derek Felvus, James Baillie and Thomas Duris


Jun 17, 2022

At the High Court in Edinburgh today, Lord Fairley sentenced Derek Felvus, James Baillie and Thomas Duris to life imprisonment for the murder of Graham Williamson. Mr Felvus and Mr Duris each received punishment parts of 23 years, while Mr Baillie's punishment part was set at 21 years. This is the minimum period of time they each must serve before being considered for parole.


On sentencing, Lord Fairley said: "On 17 August 2020, Graham Williamson was shot in the back with a sawn-off shotgun as he stood outside his home in High Blantyre. He died in the street within seconds of being shot.

On the evidence that I heard, this was a premeditated killing which involved a significant level of planning. That included the use of a rented flat in Edinburgh as an assembly point, travel from there to Glasgow, the purchase of balaclava masks, a return to the Blantyre area and a switch to a stolen car with false number plates. The three of you then hunted for Mr Williamson in the stolen car. When you found him in the street where he lived, Thomas Duris left the rear seat of the car and executed Mr Williamson in cold blood by shooting him in the back at close range. The stolen car was then burned in an attempt to cover your tracks.

The murder of Mr Williamson was the fourth and final act of a toxic feud which had escalated over the preceding days. The motive for the murder seems to have been to try to re-establish the dominance and criminal reputation of a substantial operation for the sale of class A drugs that was then being run jointly by you, Mr Felvus and you, Mr Duris. That operation had apparently funded a life of relative luxury that you both enjoyed. In short, this was a premeditated murder organised and carried out by professional drug dealers to further their criminal business interests.

By its verdict, the jury accepted that the Crown had proved beyond reasonable doubt that all three of you were party to and participated in the plan to kill Mr Williamson. Since you each played a material part in carrying out that plan, you are all equally responsible in law for its consequences.

Having regard to your individual circumstances, I see no reason to distinguish between you, Mr Felvus and you, Mr Duris, in the punishment parts which I must set for your sentences of life imprisonment. In each of your cases, the punishment part will be one of 23 years. 6 months of that period is attributable to the bail aggravation to which you were each subject. I will backdate those sentences to your respective dates of remand. Mr Felvus, your sentence will run from 26 August 2020. Mr Duris, yours will run from 3 October 2020.

Mr Baillie, having regard to your individual circumstances, and taking into account the fact that you were not subject either to a bail aggravation or to an aggravation of prior malice, the punishment part of your life sentence will be 21 years. Again, I will backdate that sentence to the date of your remand. Your sentence will, therefore, run from 3 September 2020."