It was the death of a 15-year-old schoolboy that exposed simmering racial tensions in Glasgow and a knife-carrying gang culture that pitted white and Asian youths against each other.

Two 16-year-old twins Colin and Craig Gilmour were put on trial for the murder of Imran Khan, while the hospital that treated his injuries also ended up in the dock.

Imran’s death sparked protests in the Asian community and forced Glasgow City Council to set up a task force to tackle racism.

The tragedy unfolded after four local white youths, including the Gilmour twins, clashed with eight Asian youngsters in Midlothian Drive, Shawlands, on the night of Friday, February 13, 1998.

All those involved were pupils or former pupils at nearby Shawlands Academy – then Scotland’s largest multi-racial secondary school.

Glasgow Times:

A confrontation outside a chippie between the two groups resulted in a disturbance during which Imran, who lived nearby, was stabbed with a flick knife.

A friend found him standing in the street with his jacket drenched in blood and called an ambulance on his mobile.

However, before it arrived, a couple came out of a house with towels and took Imran and another injured boy to the nearby Victoria Infirmary in their car.

Glasgow Times:

Detectives quickly identified the Gilmour twins as prime suspects in the two attacks and they were arrested.

Imran died eight days later in the Victoria after his condition suddenly and mysteriously deteriorated and the Gilmour brothers were charged with murder.

In October that year, a trial was held at the High Court in Glasgow in which the twins – who had spent eight months on remand – claimed they acted in self-defence.

One eye-witness, Mohammed Jamel, 18, said he saw Colin Gilmour repeatedly stabbing Imran who was lying on the ground face down.

Mohammed claimed the other twin – Craig – then ran across the road and attacked a second youth 16-year-old Burhan Ilyas with a knife.

He added: “Imran’s back was wet. He took off his jacket and his T-shirt was drenched in blood.’’ The court was told that the twins fled the scene and went to a friend’s house in nearby Pollokshaws.

The trial also called into question the role of medical staff at the Victoria Infirmary, where Imran was treated after the attack.

The hospital was heavily criticised by Colin Gilmour’s defence counsel Donald Findlay Q.C, for the level of care he received.

It was claimed that negligence at the hospital by staff contributed significantly to the teenager’s death.

It was also claimed that if Imran had instead gone home that night and not to the hospital, he would still be alive.

A post-mortem showed he had died of multi-organ failure caused by blood poisoning from an infection where a chest drain had been inserted.

The drain had been necessary after Imran suffered a collapsed lung when he was stabbed.

Jurors were also told that by the time he died more than a week later, the original stab wounds and punctured lung had healed.

Consultant William Tullet, then 43, of Glasgow’s Western Infirmary, claimed the Victoria failed to act on clear signs that Imran was suffering an infection during his treatment there.

His temperature and heart rate had changed, he was being sick, had become uncooperative, refused to get out of bed and was in pain.

Mr Tullet said these were classic signs that something was wrong and doctors should have investigated at the time.

It was claimed that one doctor had even written on Imran’s bedside chart that he was ‘’well and improving’’.

Mr Tullet added: “Imran never had a chance of survival because nothing was done to prevent him from dying.”

Dr Long, a senior house officer in the Victoria Infirmary accident and emergency department, told prosecutor Frank Mulholland that Imran should have made a full recovery after a few days and had a significant chance of survival without hospital treatment.

During the 15-day trial, the murder charge was dropped against Craig Gilmour but remained against Colin.

Despite the evidence criticising the hospital, Lord Kirkwood ruled the murder charge should be considered by the jury as two other doctors said Imran could not have been saved – due to his stab wounds.

The jury however cleared Colin Gilmour of the murder charge.

Instead, they found him guilty of the lesser charge of attempted murder by repeatedly stabbing Imran four times.

Craig Gilmour was found guilty of slashing Burhan Ilyas on the hands with a knife to his severe injury and permanent disfigurement.

After the verdict, Mr Findlay told the judge that neither the Gilmour twins and their friends, nor the Asian youths who clashed with them, could take any credit for their behaviour.

He said Imran’s death was totally unnecessary and that there was little doubt he would have made a full recovery from his punctured lung if treated properly.

Kirkwood also agreed with the prosecution and Donald Findlay that the attack itself was not racially motivated.

He said: “This case again demonstrates the dangers inherent in young men going about with knives.’’ Lord Kirkwood sentenced Colin Gilmour to seven years and his twin Craig to two years imprisonment.

Outside the court, a young Aamer Anwar, then a law student, said: “Everyone has to get off their backsides and deal with this. There are a lot of questions still to be answered about the roles of the hospital and the police.

“It is essential to make sure this is the last time that this happens in Glasgow.

“A lot of people have been putting their heads in the sand. There is a ghettoising of the Glasgow community with blacks living in one place, whites in another, and time is not on our side. People have been saying for years that some kid would die, and now it has happened.”

A friend of Imran, Vaseem Ali, 18, added: “We were worried that the hospital evidence brought in may have taken the focus away from the fact that Colin Gilmour attacked Imran with a knife.

“We are glad justice was done, but at the end of the day it won’t bring our friend back.’’ However, Imran’s mother Shamshad hit out at the verdicts and sentences passed on the twins She said Colin Gilmour’s seven years was not enough of a punishment.

Mrs Khan added: “My son had no knife. What were they doing carrying knives?”

However, the Gilmour twins’ mother Lorraine Gilmour blamed the Victoria Infirmary for Imran’s death.

She said at the time: “The boy died because of inadequate treatment by the hospital yet my sons are the ones going to jail.

“None of us are racists and we feel genuinely sorry for the Khan family losing their boy like that, but I believe that Colin was not the cause of his death.”

Craig Gilmour was released from Polmont Young Offenders’ Institution in February 1999, after serving about a year behind bars – on the same day the Fatal Accident Inquiry (FAI) started at Glasgow Sheriff Court.

In an interview at the time, Gilmour said: “I regret what happened. But I had nothing to do with the death of Imran Khan.

“I was cleared of a charge of murdering him but I was convicted of slashing another lad.

“I am very sorry I did it and I realise I was very stupid carrying a knife that night. There is no chance of me carrying a knife ever again.”

The FAI, which lasted two weeks, examined the medical care Imran received at the Victoria Infirmary but not the earlier stabbing attack.

In his judgement published that April, Sheriff Edward Bowen defended the actions of hospital staff and their treatment of Imran.

He said the cause of death had been toxic shock syndrome from an infection at the site of the chest drain and not directly by the stab wounds.

Mr Bowen added: “The majority of the population develops, with age, an antibody that is resistant to these toxins.

“Sadly, Imran Khan fell within the small minority who do not possess that resistance.

“It is in my judgment emotive, unhelpful and irresponsible to say that he would still be alive if he had not entered hospital.

“I do not consider that the evidence discloses any reasonable precautions whereby the death of Imran Khan might have been avoided, or that any defects in a system of working contributed to his death.

“Nothing that I have heard leads me to conclude, or even suspect, the existence of a general lack of care or want of professionalism on the part of nursing or medical staff at the Victoria Infirmary.”