THE two men linked to the callous execution of Kriss Donald come from upstanding, conscientious families who made Glasgow their home decades ago.

But both men shunned their relatives' traditional morality and ethic of hard work. One source summed it up: ''By the time they grew up as second generation Scottish Asians, they had access to money and cars, and had no need to work.''

Daanish Zahid and Zahid Mohammed, 20-year-old former pupils of Shawlands Academy, were part of a small core of Asians who terrorised their own community, regardless of the colour of their neighbours' skin.

That violence culminated on the night of March 15 this year, when Kriss was tortured, stabbed repeatedly, and burned alive in Scotland's first racially aggravated murder. His plea for mercy as he was abducted was pitiful: ''Why me? I am only 15.''

The innocent victim's older sister, Samantha, 17, said later: ''Tragic is too soft a word to describe what happened to him. Kriss was not perfect, but he did not have enemies or grudges.''

Zahid, who went by the street name Ziggy, had no previous convictions, and lived with his parents, who were last night said to be absolutely distraught at the unanimous jury verdict that their son was a murderer.

A friend said: ''They could not come to court, such was their upset. They cannot believe it.''

After leaving school, he occasionally worked as an assistant in his family's newsagent's in East Kilbride. He has two younger brothers, aged 17 and 11, and a 23-year-old sister.

His lack of a criminal record is in contrast to Mohammed. When he helped abduct Kriss, Mohammed was still electronically tagged for three road traffic offences in July, 2003, which involved a car chase in Paisley Road West, Glasgow, at speeds of up to 90mph, with a police helicopter overhead.

He also had a conviction for carrying a knife, which he claimed was for defence against intimidation by other Asians, and had been charged with attempted murder, reduced to breach of the peace, in September last year.

Mohammed appears to have been indulged as a youngster, and was immature and irresponsible. A friend noted he was the youngest of three brothers and two sisters, and spoiled all the more for that.

He added: ''He comes from a caring family with a nice home, and no other member has a criminal background. It is hard to believe what he has become.''

Mohammed's parents came to Glasgow from Pakistan some 40 years ago. His father, who worked in a clothing factory, died from a heart attack when Mohammed, born on New Year's Day, 1984, was 18 months old.

Although a struggle, Sadika, his mother, decided to stay because her older children had settled in the city. For the past 19 years, she has lived in a four-bedroomed house in Pollokshields, which is still shared with a daughter, a son and, until now, Mohammed, who left school aged 16 with no qualifications.

The other siblings are all married, living independently, with jobs ranging from running a grocery store to taxi driver.

It is a relatively mundane existence, but so was Kriss's until March 15. The night before, one of his alleged abductors was struck by a white teenager - a member of a gang called the McCulloch Street Team - in Victoria's, the Glasgow nightclub.

Swearing revenge and threatening to ''cut up the culprit and take his eyes out'', the person amassed a five-strong gang of armed helpers, including Zahid, to prowl the streets in a stolen Mercedes looking for him or someone who knew his identity.

Kriss was in the wrong place at the wrong time, chosen at random during the revenge mission when he was 100 yards from his ground-floor tenement home in Pollokshields. As so often, he was playing truant. A likeable teenager, he loathed school, and was absent much of the time.

However, although ''chilled and laid back'', he was academically bright and was scheduled to sit seven Standard grades in two months' time.

Kriss attended Bellahouston Academy, where Jim Cassells, the then headteacher, was working closely with his mother over his attendance record.

The school, with 40% of pupils from ethnic minorities, has acknowledged incidents of a racist nature and gang problems, although none appear to have involved Kriss, a Rangers fan who took particular pride in winning four certificates during an Army work experience placement.

On March 15, when Kriss and Jamie Wallace, his pal, were spotted in Kenmure Street, near McCulloch Street, heading to play computer games shortly after 3pm, the unnamed person told the other gang members in the Mercedes: ''They'll do,'' and ordered the car to be stopped.

Jamie, 20, recalled how he was called ''a white bastard'' as he fought to prevent Kriss being put in the Mercedes.

His captors took him on a 200-mile round trip at knifepoint via Strathclyde Park in Lanarkshire and Dundee. Mohammed left the car at Strathclyde Park and took a taxi home, because of the 7pm curfew imposed with his electronic ankle tag.

After four hours, the Mercedes arrived at what was to become the scene of Kriss's death: the Clyde Walkway in the east end of Glasgow,

Just minutes after one of his abductors assured him he would be freed - ''You're going to be all right. It's your friends I'm after'' - the teenager was subjected to a frenzied attack.

He was repeatedly kicked and punched and stabbed 13 times, before being burned alive.

Restrained by at least one person, the slightly built eight-and-a-half-stone schoolboy was stabbed seven times in his front, five in his back, and once in his left arm. So vicious were the knife thrusts that one of Kriss's ribs was severed, along with three arteries, one of his lungs, his kidneys, and liver.

The teenager was then doused in petrol and set alight. Engulfed by flames, he stumbled towards the river before making a vain attempt to extinguish the flames by rolling around in a muddy hollow near the cycle path.

Zahid told the High Court he remained in the front seat of the Mercedes, while the teenager was stabbed and set alight. He claimed he was too afraid to do anything to stop the attack.

Kriss's body was found the morning after the abduction, behind the Celtic Supporters' Club in London Road by Gary Neil, a car salesman. He said afterwards: ''I thought it was a dead pig lying on the cycle path, just because of the colour of the skin and the dirt.''

The body was naked, except for the charred remains of underpants, a sock, and a trainer.

Details were not made public by Strathclyde Police for almost 24 hours. Detectives argued they held back until enough information was gathered for an appeal, and that initial examinations suggested the body was not that of a teenager.

Kriss was formally identified by his mother, a single parent who has four other children - three daughters and a son - aged four to 17. Kriss was said to be a father figure to the youngest, Laurie, Amber and Taylor.

More than 60 officers then took part in the murder hunt, facing public pressure as intense as that following the slaying of Stephen Lawrence in London in 1993, and the 1988 killing of Surjit Chhokar in Wishaw, Lanarkshire.

Muslim community leaders such as Mohammed Sarwar MP and Bashir Maan, the former councillor, stepped in to issued reassurances, as did Gordon Jackson, the local MSP, and Christian leaders and police.

However, the growing culture of inter-racial clashes in Pollokshields was well-known, as was the emergence of Scottish Asians whose criminal and gang lifestyles mirrored white counterparts, from wielding baseball bats to dealing in drugs.

A visit by Nick Griffin, the British National Party leader, further fuelled racial tension.

But the community was determined not to be seen as divided, especially at Kriss's funeral, when mourners, both white and Asian, stood side by side to pay their last respects to the teenager.

During the funeral at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in Pollok, a tribute from Kriss's mother was read out. It said: ''Kriss was a beautiful child and he grew into the most placid and gentle and loving boy we could wish to have. God gave me an angel.''