TWO MEN were jailed for life yesterday for the murder of Dundee

gunsmith Mr Gordon Johnston.

The Judge, Lord Mayfield, told Ryan Monks and Paul Mill that they had

committed a cruel and sadistic murder -- an atrocity.

After 15 days of evidence and speeches at the High Court in Perth, the

men, both 21, and both of Dundee, were found guilty of murdering Mr

Johnston, 54, in the shop he had managed in Union Street, Dundee, for

more than 20 years.

Both men admitted taking part in a morning raid on the shop last May

8, when two shotguns and other property were stolen, but each claimed to

have been the getaway driver and blamed the killing on his accomplice.

They hoped their claims would make it impossible for the jury to

decide who did what and lead to both being cleared of hacking Mr

Johnston to death.

But the jury returned a unanimous verdict of guilty on each man after

Crown counsel Mr Colin McAulay, QC, claimed that there was evidence to

show that both went into the shop and played an active part in what he

described as the brutal butchering of the gunsmith.

Even if one did stay in the getaway car, he was as guilty of murder as

the accomplice who carried out the violent robbery they had planned

together, Mr McAulay submitted.

The weapon or weapons used to strike Mr Johnston 48 times were never

found but a pathologist said that his appalling injuries could well have

been caused by an axe and hammer.

Mill's girl friend, Miss Danna Henderson, 21, knew of the robbery plan

and a few hours after it took place watched police activity as she

walked past the scene of the crime with her lover.

Monks, married with two children -- one born a few days after the

murder -- told his wife Anne, 22, of his involvement in the robbery a

week later.

Like Miss Henderson, Mrs Monks kept the secret for three months as

police interviewed almost 8000 people in the hunt for the killers.

But Monks' uncle, Mr Lucio Ianetta, 43, eventually provided the

breakthrough for police. He told them that he burned clothing for his

nephew on the day of the murder and that Monks told him then that the

man in the gunshop had been ''wasted''.

Monks claimed his uncle had invented much of his evidence to claim the

#12,000 reward which had been offered for the capture of the killers.

Mr Ianetta, his head in his hands during much of his evidence, replied

that family loyalty kept him quiet initially, but he said he was haunted

by a picture of the victim and could not sleep at night.

The picture was on murder posters throughout the town and each time he

saw it he said it jumped out at him saying: ''You know something about

this -- what are you going to do about it?''

Eventually he telephoned the police and Mr McAulay told the jury that

this was not because he was a man who was after 30 pieces of silver but

because he was a man stricken by his conscience.

Police arrested Monks and Mill soon after and found a pair of sawn-off

shotguns in Mill's bedroom. Also found in his flat were detailed plans

for the kidnapping of a Dundee businessman's mother, complete with

drafts of ransom notes, two balaclava masks, and two sets of handcuffs.

Mill had also prepared plans for the robbery of a Post Office van and

the mass of paperwork helped to convict him and Monks of conspiring

together to commit these other crimes. They were also found guilty of

unlawfully shortening the stolen shotguns.

They were given concurrent sentences of two years for these crimes.

At the end of the trial Lord Mayfield and Mr McAulay both paid tribute

to the skill shown by Tayside Police in bringing the murderers to


Ryan Monks

Paul Mill