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

Airdrie & Coatbridge Advertiser - - News - Court re­porter

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.

Hap­pier times

Con­tes­tant Alex on Masterchef

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