The killer of a Glasgow gangland figure boasted he was a close associate of the dead man's notorious family.

A source close to murderer Thomas Main revealed he had close connections with the McGraw family - well known in gangland Glasgow.

The 41-year-old was yesterday jailed for life for the murder of Francis McGrow.

Main, a court ghoul who had an obsession with murder trials, was ordered to spend a minimum of 17 years in jail.

Main, from Budhill Avenue, in Springboig lived round the corner from McGrow, who stayed in his late mum Janet's home in Hermiston Road.

He told friends and neighbours about his connections to Tam 'The ­Licensee' McGraw and his henchman brother Francis, known as Fritz in underworld circles.

Main, 41, got closer to Francis after his crimelord brother died of a heart attack in 2007 and they set up a mini-drug dealing empire in the East End of Glasgow.

The only problem was Francis couldn't keep his hands off the drugs and he was consuming more heroin and crack cocaine than he was selling.

Francis developed an insatiable drugs habit and tried to set up on his own behind Main's back.

The source said: "Not long before he was killed Fritz tried setting up on his own selling smack and coke, but by this time he was paranoid, even terrified, about his brother's rivals and wouldn't leave the house much.

"He was pretty bad with the drugs. He would arrange small-time deals to pay for his own supply but then got more greedy and wanted to expand.

"He had this idea that he could set up a mini-drugs ­empire in Springboig. But it didn't work out that way for him at all. He had no respect on the streets and that's what essentially led to his downfall.

"After Tam died, he couldn't use his name any more and it made him vulnerable. He went downhill and was a nobody."

Neighbours of Main said he often boasted about his relationship with the McGraws.

One woman, who didn't want to be named, said: "Thomas was quite a nice guy. He would always talk to you in the street and he like to drop the McGraws into the conversation whenever he got the chance. I think he felt it gave him some kudos."

A court insider said: "Main was a regular. Whenever there was a big murder case on he would be there in the background.

"He was a real ghoul. He would sit at the back of the court and just listen to all the gory detail. He seemed to really enjoy it."