A DRUGS dealer from Glasgow convicted of the ''cold-blooded'' execution of a father-of-three was jailed for life yesterday.

A jury at Liverpool Crown Court took more than seven hours to find Ian McAteer guilty of the murder of Warren Selkirk.

They also convicted McAteer of plotting to bring heroin and ecstasy from Liverpool to Glasgow and of plotting to pervert the course of justice by concocting a false alibi with David Baker, from Liverpool.

Mr Justice Grigson, sentencing McAteer, said: ''It's plain that this was a cold-blooded execution of a man who trusted you. The sentence is mandatory and one of life imprisonment.''

He jailed McAteer for a concurrent five-year term for the attempt to pervert the course of justice and postponed sentence on the drugs conspiracy for an inquiry into his assets.

Baker, who was also convicted of attempting to pervert the course of justice, will be sentenced on April 27.

Later, Mr Selkirk's father, Samuel, said: ''We got the verdict we wanted. McAteer is better inside than outside.''

During a 19-day trial the court heard that Mr Selkirk, of Hawthorne Road, Bootle, was shot at point blank range on October 30, 1999, at the isolated Crosby marina, while his two sons, aged 10 and 14, waited for him in his car.

The two men had been associates in a drug running operation worth millions of pounds. But the partnership ended when McAteer cut Mr Selkirk out of various deals and became worried about his mounting gambling debts.

Details of a drugs trial kept secret until after the murder hearing in which seven former associates of McAteer were found guilty of importing and distributing drugs, emerged last night. Five men from Merseyside and two from Bradford were jailed for between 11 and 21 years.