IT was one of the most horrific acts of violence Glasgow had ever seen.

A motorist pursued for several miles through the city’s streets in a 100mph midnight chase involving two other vehicles.

After being cornered he was then subjected to a horrific cleaver and hammer attack that put him in hospital for several weeks and left him scarred for life.

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Glasgow Times:

Earlier that evening Steven Daniel – whose family nickname was Bonzo – had watched Rangers play Aberdeen at Ibrox.

The 39-year-old dad was heading to the family home in Bishopbriggs when he realised his Skoda Octavia was being tailed by an Audi S3 and a VW Golf.

Fearing for his safety Daniel put his foot down but was cornered near the M8 at Port Dundas.

Glasgow Times:

The pursuit ended with the occupants of the Audi butchering his face.

Daniel was rushed to nearby Glasgow Royal Infirmary where doctors battled to save his life.

His nose was almost severed and his injuries were so severe that police initially thought he had been shot at close range.

It later transpired that Daniel may only have survived the attack because it happened so near the hospital and because a top class surgeon happened to be on duty that night.

Glasgow Times:

The Audi S3 used in the pursuit was later dumped and set on fire to destroy any evidence.

However, the bloodied machete used in the attack had been left on the back seat.

Detectives later read callous WhatsApp jibes about the murder attempt posted a few hours later by the cleaver gang.

One message read: “You happy the day then mate?”

The reply was: “Love it mate. Heard he can’t see.”

The message then included a laughing face emoji.

A follow-up then stated: “Yaas mate.”

Other images included the cleaver suspected of being used in the attack sitting on the back seat of the torched Audi.

Following his release from hospital Daniel’s home was given around the clock police guard – in case of another attempt on his life.

His attempted murder was the culmination of a series of five similar attacks over a six-month period.

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Three pals, Ryan Fitzsimmons, 34, Gary Petty, 22, Thomas Bilsland, 31, and a 29-year-old cousin, who can’t be named for legal reasons, had also been targeted.

The cousin’s car was rammed before he was chased into a house in Robroyston in December 2016.

Once inside he was hit twice on the back of the head with what appeared to be either a hatchet or a machete.

A month later Thomas Bilsland suffered a fractured skull after he was set upon in Glasgow’s Cranhill.

Gary Petty was targeted after he visited an Italian takeaway in Maryhill in March 2017.

The following month, Ryan Fitzsimmons, a former soldier, was left unconscious and brain-damaged after he was attacked with a sword and hammer outside the home he shared with his mother in Clydebank.

However, the gang’s main target appeared to have been Steven Daniel who was attacked on May 18, 2017.

During their investigation detectives found tracking devices on Daniel’s Skoda and the other victims’ cars.

The Skoda tracker had allowed the gang to trace his movements from Ibrox that night.

The device was the first type of its kind to be used in Scotland and had been sourced from a firm in Manchester.

The use of the trackers allowed police to link a total of six men to the five brutal attacks.

They stood trial at the High Court in Glasgow in January 2019 charged with the various attempted murder plots.

Security was tight throughout the proceedings with armed police patrolling the building and people searched going in.

The prison van carrying the six accused were given a police escort each day to and from court.

Jurors were shown dramatic CCTV of Daniel’s car being rammed during the high-speed chase through the north of Glasgow.

His pursuers had used the trackers to watch his every move which in turn allowed them to pick the perfect moment to pounce.

The jury was told that the attacks were part of a long running feud between two rival Glasgow-based crime factions, the Lyons and Daniel families.

The accused were said to be associates of the Lyons and their intended victims were linked to the Daniel family.

In his evidence Steven Daniel told a different story. He insisted he had no enemies before the attack – and said there was no dispute with the Lyons.

He also denied his family were involved in organised crime.

The jury learned that on the night he was attacked Steven Daniel was in the Milton area of the city when the Volkswagen Golf rammed the side of his Skoda.

As he put the foot down to get away from danger the Audi S3 joined the chase.

The pursuit then continued into the nearby Possil area and finally Craighall Road in Port Dundas.

Daniel admitted doing speeds of up to 100mph and had even planned to go down the wrong side of the motorway to escape.

Instead his Skoda crashed at the M8 on-ramp in Port Dundas.

Daniel claimed he could not remember being attacked and could only recall his car skidding into a pole.

The court was told he had been hit repeatedly with a cleaver, hammer and other bladed weapons.

He remained in hospital for several weeks to try and repair the horrific wounds to his face.

He was under sedation for most of the time and went through hours of surgery including an eight-hour operation to reconstruct his face.

A surgeon from Glasgow Royal Infirmary who gave evidence said the injuries had been a “significant threat to his life” at the time.

The men accused, Brian Ferguson, left, 37, Andrew Gallacher, right, 40, Robert Pickett, 53, Andrew Sinclair, 32, and Peter Bain, 45, were convicted of the murder plot after a 14-week trial said to have cost taxpayers £6 million. Following the verdict the detective who led the investigation said it was “a miracle” innocent members of the public were not injured during the six months of horrifying violence across the Glasgow area.

Detective Inspector Jim Bradley also praised medical staff for saving the lives of the victims and thanked witnesses for courageously providing crucial evidence that helped convict the men.

Welcoming the verdict, Mr Bradley commented: “The weapons used in the attacks, including machetes, meat cleavers, swords and hammers, were clearly likely to result in either death or significant life-changing injuries.

“If it had not been for medical intervention, a number of victims would not have survived.

“When carrying out their premeditated, violent attacks, these individuals had absolutely no regard for the safety of innocent people in the vicinity of where they were carrying out their crimes.

“On one occasion, a victim was chased into a neighbour’s house, who woke to find strangers in their home, in the dark, with someone being viciously attacked.”

DI Bradley added: “This gang planned their attacks by using tracking devices on cars of their would-be victims, surveilling them for weeks and months before attacking them.

“This also included lying in wait before ambushing them in their cars in residential areas.

“It is by some miracle that innocent members of the public were not injured or worse during these acts of violence.

“The individuals convicted were tasked by higher-ranking criminal associates to carry out their acts of violence for payment on people they didn’t even know.

“These men are clearly seen as disposable by those in the upper echelons of crime groups.”

The following month all the men were jailed for a total of 104 years for the attacks on Daniel and the other four men.

The trial judge, Lord Mulholland, said that the “sophisticated plot” was foiled by “good, old-fashioned detective work”.

Ferguson and Gallacher were each sentenced to 20 years; Pickett for 16 years; Bain for 15 years; and Sinclair for 13 years and three months.

A 35-year-old man who cannot be named for legal reasons was also jailed for 20 years.

Some of the mob seemed unconcerned by the outcome and length of their sentences.

Gallacher made a clenched fist gesture as he headed downstairs.

Ferguson appeared to salute supporters in court, while Bain grinned and gave a thumbs up.

Before passing sentence, Lord Mulholland told the six: “You sought to turn Glasgow into a war zone for your feud. This is a civilised city, which is based on the rule of law. There is no place for this type of conduct, retribution, or law of the jungle.

“Steven Daniel gave evidence and said that he was not aware of a feud between the Lyons and Daniel families.

“I did not believe a word and, more importantly, neither did the jury.”