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NOTORIOUS car thief and drug dealer Gary Cairns jumped to his death rather than face another jail term.

Junkie Gary, 30, drowned in the Clyde when he plunged off a bridge during a police chase on Wednesday.

He turned the stolen car he was driving on to the busy King George V Bridge in Glasgow City centre and got caught in traffic.

In a desperate last bid to flee, he got out and plunged into the river.

His dad, James, said yesterday that Gary, who was released from prison just three months ago, could not face being locked up again.

He said: "My boy had lost the will to live. He couldn't take it any more, and did not want to go back to jail."

A police source added: "This guy was a career criminal who was determined not to go back to prison. I reckon he had just had enough.

"He was a sad, big character who knew he couldn't take prison again."

The dad-of-two, from Partick, served his last jail term for drug offences and stealing cars.

He had also been banned from driving for 10 years.

James, from Maryhill, said: "We know he was a heroin addict and stole cars but he was a son and a brother and well-loved."

Mr Cairns said he didn't condone his son's criminal past but added: "He was allowed out of prison with no rehabilitation programme readily available for him."

James claimed his son had wanted to get off drugs but couldn't do it on his own.

After falling from the bridge at about 1pm, Gary was seen swimming away but he was pulled below the surface by strong currents.

A team of police divers found his body a few hours later.
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Author:Cairns, Prison: Gary
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Jun 2, 2000
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