THE 'fiend of the Gorbals' Patrick Carraher features in the latest of our special series on Barlinnie: The men who were hanged and their crimes.

A total of 10 judicial executions by hanging took place at HMP Barlinnie between 1946 and 1960, replacing the gallows at Duke Street Prison. This was before the death penalty was eventually abolished in the UK in 1969. All the executions took place at 8am. The public executioners during that time were Thomas Pierrepoint, Albert Pierrepoint and Harry Allen. The remains of all executed prisoners were the property of the state. They were buried in unmarked graves within the walls of the prison. During renovations at the prison in 1997, Barlinnie's gallows cell, which was built into D-hall, was finally demolished and the remains of all the executed prisoners were exhumed for reburial elsewhere on the grounds. This is the story of Patrick Carraher who was executed by Thomas Pierrepoint on April 6, 1946, just two months after John Lyon.

PATRICK Carraher was such a notorious criminal that he has earned himself the nickname, "the Fiend of the Gorbals'.

He left a trail of destruction as a drunk who loved to fight and his reputation proceeded him, leaving many in fear across the city.

He was a well-known figure at a time when fights between rival razor gangs were common in the city but the law caught up with him more than once, which ultimately resulted in his death.

Evening Times:

Patrick Carraher

Despite his violent behaviour, Carraher was born into a respectable working-class family in the Gorbals area of the city. He, however, came to the attention of the authorities at an early age and spent some time in borstal as a teenager.

Prior to his death penalty sentence, Carraher had also twice been before the High Court on serious charges. On the first occasion, a jury returned a majority verdict of culpable homicide and he was jailed for three years. That sentence was for Carraher's involvement in the death of solider James Shaw whom he had stabbed in the neck with a knife. On a subsequent occasion, he received another three-year sentence for using a lethal weapon in an assault. He was found guilty of attempting to slash a man with a razor.

It was, however, his involvement in a Glasgow street fight which resulted in him receiving the hangman's noose.

The Evening Times covered the trial at the time which saw Carraher accused of killing another young soldier John Gordon on November 23, 1945.

The charge, which Carraher denied, said that he assaulted Gordon, of Aitken Street, by stabbing him on the neck with a wood chisel or similar instrument and did murder him.

The murder happened on Taylor Street near McAslin Street in Glasgow. McAslin Street no longer exists in Glasgow but was around the area where the University of Strathclyde is now built.

Witnesses at the time told the High Court that Gordon had been out drinking with his brothers and a friend Duncan Reevie.

It was Reevie who told the court about how Gordon came to his death. A deserter from the army, Reevie and Mr Gordon met another friend, John Keatings in a pub in the Rottenrow.

When the trio left the boozer, they were met by Carraher's friend, who was also the brother of his girlfriend, Daniel Bonnar.

The Evening Times reported: "Daniel Bonnar, came up and challenged the three of them to fight. He was shouting, 'Come on,' and was using bad language."

Gordon did nothing but Keatings and Reevie chased Bonnar although when they caught up with him, they realised he had a hatchet in his hand, and walked away.

Keatings left the pair, and they were walking down Taylor Street when they then came across Bonnar and this time Carraher.

The thugs were in a close on Taylor Street as Gordon and Keatings were approaching its junction with McAslin Street. They jumped out and dived at the men.

While Bonnar was fighting with Reevie, Carraher had a hold of Gordon. Reevie then chased Bonnar, and when he returned he saw his friend was hurt.

The Evening Times reported from Reevie's appearance in court: "When I turned back I saw John Gordon staggering into McAslin Street. There was a wound on the left side of his neck. I did not see Carraher."

Reevie alerted Gordon's brothers to what had happened and he was taken to Glasgow Royal Infirmary where he was pronounced dead.

During Bonnar's court appearance, he spoke about the aftermath of escaping Reevie. He told the court that when he met up with Carraher at Canning Place, the 'Fiend of the Gorbals' said he had given Gordon a jag which he took to mean as pressing in something sharp.

Carraher was arrested that night for murder. It took a jury just 20 minutes after a trial which lasted three days to convict Carraher of murder and he became the second person to be hanged at Barlinnie at the age of 39.

Evening Times:

Members of the public wait outside his execution

There was an appeal against the conviction but this was dismissed by five judges, and The Evening Times printed that story with the headline, "Glasgow man to hang on 6th of April" confirming that the 'Fiend of the Gorbals' had ended his terror on the city.

See next Friday's Evening Times for the story of Carntyne Cop killer John Caldwell