Duo who killed a dog and wounded its innocent owner in the crossfire of their botched murder attempt in Cumbernauld, jailed

Two men whose botched murder attempt left an innocent dog-walker shot and her pet killed were jailed for a total of 14 years last week.

Reece Govan, 27, and convicted killer Bran Gallacher, 26, chased a man through a quiet housing development in upmarket Dullatur in Cumbernauld.Govan shot their intended target, Marc McDermott, in the back with a shotgun, while Gallacher lashed out with a machete, striking the 31-year-old victim on the shoulder.Despite being wounded, the victim tried to escape, sprinting down a lane while his father, clutching a hockey stick, also went out to try and help his son.Govan then fired at the victim again, but instead caught dog-walker Michelle Butler and her pet Henry in the crossfire.The pooch died after being struck by 25 shotgun pellets, suffering "catastrophic" organ damage, whilst Ms Butler sustained a hand injury.McDermott also survived the attack, but needed hospital treatment for a wound to his back.The attackers fled in a Ford Focus while McDermott was helped by his parents and taken to hospital.Last month, Govan and Gallacher pleaded guilty to attempting to murder McDermott.

Govan also admitted two charges of culpably and recklessly discharging a firearm in connection with Ms Butler and her dog.


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Appearing at the High Court in Stirling, Judge Lord Colbeck told the pair they had shown "shocking, wanton criminality".He added: "The offence to which you both pled guilty is an extremely serious one involving the use of weapons against not only the victim of the attempted murder, but also impacting upon an unsuspecting member of the public."He jailed Govan for eight years and Gallacher for six years and three months.Both were made subject to a three year extension sentence, to be served in the community .

The incident happened about 7pm on January 23, 2020, after McDermott had arrived home with his parents.They noticed a Ford Focus, which had been seen in the street in the weeks before, and thought it "suspicious". Govan, Gallacher and a third man, then jumped out of the vehicle, with security camera footage showing them immediately going after McDermott.

One of the trio was heard yelling, “get him."Footage captured shows Govan carrying “what appears to be a shotgun” and Gallacher “carrying a machete".McDermott was initially struck on the shoulder with the machete, then shot in the back, but continued running.

Defending Govan, Brian McConnachie said his client had a fall out with McDermott, in the course of which threats had been made against his grandmother, who had brought Govan up.Defending Gallacher – who was jailed for ten years in 2015 for culpable homicide – Tony Graham said his client had "taken drink" and was not the "planner or instigator" of the incident.