AS businessman Andrew Best lay dying in a pool of his own blood his final words were to name the man responsible.

In the previous 10 years, 44-year-old Best had made a host of enemies after leaving behind a trail of debt and misery through a string of dodgy business dealings.

However, the manner of his death at the hands of two Glasgow criminals was shocking by any standards.

His throat had been slashed in broad daylight in a lane leading to Dobbies Garden Centre in Cumbernauld, 14 miles from Glasgow, on June 4, 2007.

The same assailant had also stabbed and slashed one of his legs.

Meanwhile, a second man had attacked him with the wheel brace from a car hitting him several times.

Best was found staggering about the main road with the horrific injuries by a member of the public shortly after 8pm that Monday evening and told the woman the name of his killer.

He also gave the same name to police arriving at the scene.

Best was rushed to Monklands Hospital in nearby Airdrie where he died shortly after arrival.

By this time the two men responsible had fled the scene in a hired Ford Fiesta.

There was no shortage of suspects given the number of people to whom he owed money.

One underworld source said: "There are so many people with a grudge against Best, it isn't a great surprise this has happened.

"He owes a fortune to an awful lot of people.

"It was a vicious attack - he was slashed across the throat.

"But he has turned over a lot of people. This was on the cards."

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Best, who was married with a teenage son, was known to police, having an assault conviction for breaking a firefighter's jaw in 1997.

He was also the victim of a stabbing the same year outside his then home in Cumbernauld's Main Street.

Following his murder, detectives discovered that Best had ran more than a dozen firms in the previous 10 years.

Most of them had gone bust with investors and customers owed large sums of money.

Other firms had been struck off by Companies House after Best failed to file any accounts.

He had first come to prominence in 1996 when he promised to create more than 200 jobs in Cumbernauld through his Best Group business. They never materialised.

The following year he was made bankrupt and again in 2001.

During this period, two other businesses in Cumbernauld - Best Trading and Spraymore - went into liquidation after a year, leaving more than 70 customers out of pocket.

Best was also banned from being a company director for three years.

Despite his business failings Best drove a Mercedes and enjoyed a luxury lifestyle with a home and business interests in Spain.

Following a lengthy police investigation two Glasgow men, John Maguire, 23, and David Hughes, 41, were identified as the prime suspects.

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It later emerged that Hughes had flown in from Amsterdam the day before the killing.

He then went on the run afterwards and a warrant was issued for his arrest.

However, Maguire from Riddrie was less elusive and he stood trial at the High Court in Glasgow in January 2008.

The jury were told that both he and Hughes had phoned Best at his home in Stirling on the day of the murder and asked him to meet them that evening at the garden centre.

As soon as Best parked his vehicle both men got out of the Fiesta.

Hughes opened the door of Best's van and Maguire, without warning, hit him twice with the wheel brace.

At this point, Hughes pulled out a knife and repeatedly stabbed him on the legs.

As Best tried to flee he was slashed on the throat by Hughes and left for dead.

Minutes later a woman motorist driving near Dobbies saw Best waving one arm as if to attract her attention.

He was holding his throat with the other hand and his clothes were covered in blood.

She asked who had done this and Best replied: "Davie Hughes."

Best then gave the same name to police officers - who had arrived at the scene to give him first aid.

A post-mortem examination revealed that Best had suffered 16 wounds, three on the face, two on the chest, one on the right elbow, one on the right little finger and nine to his legs.

The jury was told that Maguire had hired the Ford Fiesta to take him and Hughes to the garden centre.

He admitted killing Best by striking him repeatedly on the head and body with the wheel brace but denied murder.

However Maguire claimed he was part of a plan to assault Best, not to kill him.

Maguire's defence counsel, Paul McBride QC, told the jury: "Mr Maguire had no idea the level of violence that would be used against Mr Best. The blows my client caused played no part in Mr Best's death."

Maguire was sentenced to four years after pleading guilty to the lesser charge of culpable homicide.

Hughes was only caught later when he secretly returned to Scotland and police were tipped off.

He stood trial in February 2009 at the High Court in Glasgow charged with murdering Best. Hughes was also charged with attempting to defeat the ends of justice by getting rid of bloodstained clothing and a knife, changing the tyres on his car and cleaning it and fleeing to London and then the Netherlands.

At his trial the victim's wife Angela Best, 33, told the jury that her husband's BMW car had previously been blown up in a private car park in Cumbernauld.

She added that one of his work vans was blown up a short time later and the windows of their house were also smashed.

Hughes defence counsel Gordon Jackson asked Mrs Best why this happened and she replied: "At that time it was very distressing for us. I went to my friend's to stay. I did think that somebody had it in for Andrew but we never knew who."

Angela told the court that Hughes was a friend of her husband and visited their house several times.

She also said she had no idea why someone would want to kill him.

Under further cross-examination from Mr Jackson Angela confirmed several of her husband's companies had gone bust.

Mr Jackson asked: "Normally, when things go bust, somebody loses money?"

She replied: "I don't know anything about that."

Jackson also read part of a statement she gave police, which read: "I remember he got a couple of phone calls saying he was going to get done in and there was a contract out on his head."

She said the last time she saw her husband, he left their home in Cumbernauld on the night of his murder, telling her he had to go out for 15 minutes.

Later that night, she got a call telling her he had been injured. When she got to the hospital, he had died.

While this was going on Hughes had already left the country for London to celebrate his 40th birthday.

The jury was told that at the time of the murder both Maguire and Best were targets of a police undercover drugs operation codenamed Operation Meadow.

However on the day of the killing neither man was being followed by police.

After 10 days of evidence Hughes was found guilty of Best's murder.

Trial judge Lord Matthews sentenced him to life imprisonment and said he must serve 16 years before he is eligible to apply for parole. It meant he was unlikely to be released before 2025.

The judge also told Hughes: "The jury found you guilty of the murder of Andrew Best.

"There was obviously an element of pre-planning and premeditation. I don't know if murder was intended or the pre-planning was simply to assault him, but the crime of murder was committed."

Maguire was also sentenced to an extra 18 months in prison for contempt of court after refusing to answer questions about statements he made to the police despite repeated warnings from Lord Matthews.

Mr McBride told the judge: "His co-accused David Hughes is not a man to be trifled with. "Maguire was under the most significant pressure not to give evidence."

To this day it is not clear why Best was murdered and why he had arranged to meet the two men that evening.

Was Hughes another victim of one of his failed business schemes and did he owe him money?

If so, Best paid the ultimate price, with his life.