Scots fugitive Jordan Owens jailed for murder of Glasgow playpark victim Jamie Lee

A Scots fugitive who went on the run after gunning down a new dad has been convicted of murder.

Jordan Owens, 27, shot Jamie Lee, 23, near a children’s play park in Castlemilk, Glasgow on November 8, 2017.

The killing was an escalation of an apparent “low level” feud between the Owens and Lee families.

Owens escaped to Europe after the shooting apparently aided by criminal associates.

The hunt to catch him featured on BBC’s Crimewatch ‘Most Wanted’ list.

He was eventually captured in Portugal’s capital Lisbon in December 2019 and hauled back to Scotland to face justice.

Jamie Lee, 23, died following the horror incident near a playpark near Ballantay Terrace in the city’s Castlemilk area on July 8, 2017

He denied murder, but was found guilty following an eight-day trial at the High Court in Glasgow.

Owens was further convicted of attempting to murder Joseph Lee by shooting him on the arm the same night.

Lord Beckett jailed the killer for a minimum of 23 years.

The judge told Owens the murder appeared “pre-meditated” as he had the “resourcefulness” to arm himself with a gun and bullet proof vest.

Lord Beckett added: “This was your battle that you chose to escalate by shooting and murder.

“Jamie Lee lost his life in his early 20s. His family have had to suffer his loss and his child will grow up without his father.”

Owens showed no emotion as he began his life sentence.

Relatives shouted “love you” as he was lead to the cells.

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Jamie’s emotional family hugged in the courtroom following the verdicts.

Jurors heard how Jamie told his partner Laura Ward on the night of the shooting that he had been in a “row” with Owens.

She pleaded with her boyfriend to “forget about it”

The proud couple had earlier spent that day getting photos taken of them with their then three-week-old son.

Jamie’s mum Anne Frances Dearie had been due to babysit the child that evening.

But, that changed when Jamie got in touch about Owens.

Ann-Frances told prosecutor Lindsey Dalziel: “He said that Jordan Owens had been threatening to come through (Laura’s) door and my door.”

Jamie Lee with partner Laura Ward
Jamie Lee with partner Laura Ward

The mum returned to her home where Jamie was.

However, her son and other relatives soon headed out. There was then a confrontation between members of the Owens and Lee families.

Jurors heard of young men being armed and wearing ‘Vendetta’ masks amid chaotic scenes.

It was then next to the children’s play area in Ballantay Terrace in Castlemilk where Owens murdered Jamie.

One resident recalled hearing four shots. She also told police how Owens had a gun which had a “long silver pistol bit”.

Mobile phone footage showed Jamie slumping to the ground at a nearby grassy hill.

His mum was one of those who rushed to his aid.

An emotional Ann-Frances told the trial: “He put his head on my legs and I just told him to lie down.

“He was saying that he was too warm and that it was sore.”

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Jamie was rushed to hospital, but he never recovered. He died as a result of gun shot wounds to his legs.

A pathologist concluded “a single projectile” – most likely a bullet – had “passed from left to right” fatally injuring the young dad.

No firearm was ever recovered by police.

The court heard how Owens’ “on-off” girlfriend Stacey McAllister suddenly got a call that night asking her to give him a lift.

Stacey – who was 12 weeks pregnant at the time – said Owens was taken back to her home in East Kilbride, Lanarkshire.

He was apparently “normal” and did not say why he needed picked up.

Stacey went out for food with a friend – when she returned Owens was gone.

She told jurors how it was after his arrest more than two years later before she saw him again.

After the verdict, defense QC Brian McConnachie said: “So far as background, there had been for a period of time, maybe as far as 2012, some relatively low level feud between the families.”

There has been at least two other court cases amid rising tension in Castlemilk connected to the shooting.

In 2018, Gerald Gavan was jailed for 11 years after he mowed down six children who innocently got caught up in the feud.

A judge at that time heard how a recent “fatality” in the area had sparked the hit and run with a rival the intended target.

An acquired former co-accused of Gavan was a relative of Jordan Owens.

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Police also had to step in after an angry clash outside a courtroom following a separate case at Glasgow Sheriff Court.

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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