Shooting pub to become supermarket in bid to drop stigma


By Christine Lavelle

A PUB where a former boxing champion was gunned down and killed is to become a supermarket.

In 2006, 31-year-old Alex McKinnon was shot by Jamie Bain at The Marmion in Gracemount, Edinburgh.

Bain then turned the gun on Mr McKinnon’s brother-in-law, James Hendry, who was left badly wounded after the attack.

Since then, the pub has struggled to recover from the stigma attached to the shooting, and owners Punch Taverns have decided to convert it to a supermarket.

In a design statement accompanying the proposals, agents D2 Planning said there were “issues with regards the management of the public house so Punch Taverns have taken the decision it is no longer viable as a public house.”

A spokeswoman for Punch said: “It is always out preference that our pubs continue to trade as pubs.

“However, we do review our estate regularly, and may explore other options around the future of our less sustainable sites, or where they might better fulfil their potential for the local community under different ownership.”

Although no operator is believed to have been secured, but Councillor Conor Snowdon said it is likely Tesco will make an offer.

He said: “Tesco recently failed to secure permission for a new store in Lasswade Road, so there might be potential in this one.

“A supermarket would not be unwelcome in the area.

“There’s a Co-Op nearby, a post office and a few local newsagents, but nothing that would be heavily threatened by a big retail presence in the area.

“The Marmion pub never really recovered from the shooting.

“They tried to rebrand themselves as a family place but they could never get the footfall.

“It would be good to see it put to some use.”

The bar was taken over by Ellis Johnston at the end of 2006, and despite attempts to re-launch it with a new menu and Pop Idol-style karaoke competitions; it was closed for good last year.

Bain and his accomplice Richard Cosgrove were convicted of murder after they entered The Marmion wearing ski masks on April 22, 2006.

Another accomplise, Bernard Young, was convicted of attempted murder.

He and Cosgrove recently had their sentences reduced from 20 years to 16, after an appeal judge ruled Cosgrove was “terrified” of Bain.

Following the attack, Bain was attacked and beaten with the shotgun used to murder Mr McKinnon.

At the time police did not think he would survive and he required plastic surgery.

When he eventually pulled through he told police he had suffered memory loss.