A MURDER bid accused gang of seven alleged Greenock petrol bombing conspirators plotted to gun down a man following the death of their ringleader's brother, it is alleged.

The group — whose case called for the first time at the High Court yesterday — are also charged with scheming to kill the parents and associates of their claimed shooting target, Leonard Cole jnr.

Prosecutors say Robert Warnock — whose 18-year-old brother, Reece, was knifed in Port Glasgow — planned from prison with his six co-accused to wreak death and destruction in Greenock.

Warnock, 25, is said to have conspired with Craig McFarlane, 25, Brendan O'Donnell, 23, Drew Darling, 27, Kieran McAnally, 25, Cain Carr, 22 and Lee Heron, 24, to murder Cole's father, Leonard snr, and mother Rosaleen Sutherland, as well as five other people — including a six-year-old girl.

Other alleged victims have been named on an indictment charge as Ellen Cole, Connor Leadbetter and Alexander Sutherland.

The Crown says the gang 'did discuss the acquisition of firearms and the shooting of Leonard Cole jnr, Kieran Murphy and others'.

All seven accused had pleas of not guilty tendered on their behalf yesterday morning.

Their trial — which is set to take place next year — is expected to last 20 weeks.

Cole jnr's brother, Andrew Sutherland, 32, was last year convicted of the August 2019 attempted murder of Reece Warnock, whom the High Court was told died in October.

Prosecutors say the alleged petrol bombing plotters engaged in criminal conduct to assault, endanger life, murder and to cause serious damage to the property of relatives and associates of Leonard Cole jnr and Andrew Sutherland.

It is alleged that the gang — along with George Miller, who is now dead — conducted the conspiracy at Shotts Prison and at addresses on Union Street, Cumberland Road, Trafalgar Street, Regent Street and elsewhere between July 7 and October 29 last year.

The Crown says they communicated by phone call, text and social media messages, targeted individuals and properties in the town, recruited and attempted to recruit others to join them and offered money and drugs to the deceased George Miller.

It is alleged that petrol bombs were thrown at houses on Union Street and Cumberland Road on July 13 and September 19 last year respectively.

Prosecutors claim that the accused supplied cocaine to George Miller, instructed him to set fire to the Union Street property on September 14 last year and caused him to attend there whereby he poured petrol on the door and through the letterbox, ignited petrol, set fire to the door and himself, in consequence of which he died.

The group are said to have committed the alleged crimes 'knowing that Reece Warnock, now deceased, brother of Robert Warnock, had been assaulted on 27 August 2019 by Leonard Cole jnr and Andrew Sutherland'.

The Crown says that Warnock and Craig McFarlane 'did direct Drew Darling, Brendan O'Donnell, George Miller now deceased, Kieran McAnally, Cain Carr and Lee Heron and others to commit a serious offence namely conspiracy, assault, murder, and contraventions of section three of the Explosive Substance Act 1883'.

McFarlane, Brendan O'Donnell and Drew Darling are charged with the alleged July 13 petrol bombing of the Union Street house.

Prosecutors say they were in 'possession of an explosive substance, namely bottles containing fabric, commonly known as petrol bombs, with intent to endanger life, or cause serious injury to property, or to enable any other person to do so'.

McFarlane is further accused of supplying the now deceased George Miller with cocaine.

McAnally and Carr are both charged with the alleged petrol bombing of the Cumberland Road property on September 19 last year. Carr is said to have been on bail at the time.

Warnock is accused of attempting to pervert the course of justice from Shotts Prison on July 16 last year by allegedly instructing McFarlane to pay money to Darling with intent to induce or coerce him not to identify and incriminate McFarlane.

Warnock, McFarlane, O'Donnell and Carr, who are all remanded in custody, and Darling, of Banff Road, McAnally, of Belville Street, and Heron, of West Blackhall Street, are due to stand trial from August 22 next year.