Losing Alex has left us all numb but I know his legacy will live on
Wife of Masterchef star pays tribute to her tragic husband
Two Rawyards thugs who brandished a machete and hammer before brawling with each other in the street have narrowly avoided a prison sentence.
James Marshall and Gary McGhee will instead be confined to their own homes for large spells of each day after being tagged for the next six months.
The vicious pair confronted each other on Airdrie’s Thrashbush Road on January 6 — each bringing a potentially deadly weapon of choice to the impending fight.
McGhee, 23, showed up with the machete, while Marshall, 27, wielded a hammer.
They both “conducted themselves aggressively” before brawling — fortunately minus their weapons.
The duo eventually separated and were later placed under arrest by police officers and taken to Coatbridge police station.
Both McGhee, of Northburn Avenue, and Wood Street native Wood entered guilty pleas to their violent actions at Airdrie Sheriff Court.
Background reports were then compiled on the pair ahead of their return for sentencing last week.
Defence solicitors Paul Belardo and Edward Kelly revealed that Marshall and McGhee, respectively, were remorseful for their confrontation and appealed for a non-custodial sentence, with supervision mooted for both.
Sheriff Morag Shankland took a dim view on Marshall and McGhee’s behaviour and warned them: “This was a very serious offence and you could go to prison.
“But I am just persuaded to impose a restriction of liberty order. If you breach this order, then you know what to expect.”
McGhee’s order will see him confined to his home between the hours of 8.30pm and 6.30am, seven days a week, with Marshall’s hours set at 7pm to 7am.
Alex and Claire on their wedding day and Alex with his four beloved children (inset top) Graham Miller
A star chef from Coatbridge who was mentored by Gordon Ramsay and appeared on MasterChef: The Professionals has died of an undetected heart condition.
Alex Thain’s wife Claire said she hoped the dad-of-four’s legacy will live on in kitchens up and down Scotland.
Mrs Thain added: “I’m numb. Alex was our world and we were his.
“He was a dedicated chef and he took great pleasure in taking young chefs under his wing and teaching them.
“Because of this, I believe his legacy will live on in the catering industry.”
Alex’s career took off after he won the Gordon Ramsay scholarship in 2005. He went on to star in the 2015 series of BBC’s MasterChef: The Professionals.
He worked at some of Scotland’s top venues, including Cameron House on the banks of Loch Lomond, Ramsay’s Amaryllis restaurant and Andy Murray’s Cromlix House.
Alex passed away on August 24. He was 37.
Claire spoke of his tragic death after he was laid to rest on Friday. More than 250 mourners attended the funeral service at St Monica’s Church. He leaves behind his wife and children Joshua, 15, Jacob, 12, Olivia, 10, and Lucy, eight.
Claire said: “The catering industry is sometimes not the nicest of industries and not familyorientated but Alex managed to give us 100 per cent.
“He gave us the love and dedication we needed.
“He was a family man — an unbelievably talented chef — but more importantly his talent was as a loving father and husband.”
She added: “Alex would come home and would sit with his head in books sometimes.
“He would be sketching out dishes. He would spend hours tweaking ingredients, he had such dedication.
“Alex was classically trained. He absolutely loved doing pastry.
“He loved getting in among it all, working with chocolate or rolling out pastry when he came home.”
Claire added: “He has left a gaping hole in the catering world and with us — although we believe he is here in spirit and is looking over us.
“We’re just trying to come to terms with the whole thing. He had a medical problem with his heart and we didn’t really know until it was too late.”
Alex started his career as an apprentice chef at a hotel near his home town of Fochabers in Moray.
He spent three years working at One Devonshire Gardens in Glasgow under head chef Andrew Fairlie in the 90s — and took up a post at the same location in 2002 after it became Amaryllis.
Alex was later headhunted by the owner of Cosmo restaurant in Edinburgh, Keith Murray, son of then Rangers chairman Sir David.
He was also head chef at Cameron House and head pastry chef at Cromlix in Perthshire.
Alex joined Big Bite Catering as head chef in June after a stint at Crossbasket Castle, near East Kilbride.
Contestant Alex on Masterchef