Man Admits Murdering Brother In New Year's Day Fire

21 July 2017, 13:43

A couple on holiday

A man has admitted murdering his brother and attempting to murder his brother's girlfriend by setting fire to them as they slept in bed on New Year's Day.

Blair Logan poured petrol on his younger brother Cameron, 23, and the bed he was sharing with Rebecca Williams, who's a colleague of ours here at Global, at their family home in Milngavie, East Dunbartonshire.

Ms Williams was rescued from the fire and treated in hospital, while Logan's parents were treated for smoke inhalation.

Logan, 27, pleaded guilty to a charge of murder and attempted murder at the High Court in Glasgow on Friday.

He also admitted endangering the lives of his parents David and Catherine in the blaze, in which the family dog Gomez was also killed.

Both parents were in the court room in Glasgow, along with Ms Williams, as the guilty plea was made in front of judge Lady Scott.

Advocate Depute Alex Prentice QC, prosecuting, said the accused admitted pouring petrol ''with the intention of maiming or crippling'' his brother.

The court heard that the two brothers had a ''hostile'' relationship and Logan told police they had not spoken since the death of their grandmother in 2013.

On the night of the fire, Cameron and Rebecca had arranged to stay the night at the family home and his mother Catherine set up an inflatable mattress for them in the living room.

They returned from a new year party at around 4am and went to sleep.

At around 7.15am, Mrs Logan was woken by the family dog whining and went downstairs, where she saw a figure in dark clothing standing inside the living room.

Ms Williams also saw a man in the room, holding something that was on fire, and she and Cameron both screamed.

Mr Prentice told the court: ''Catherine Logan then heard Cameron roar in surprise, shock and fear, before the accused made a jerking motion with his arm as if throwing something.

''The accused then ran from the living room and went out the front door.

''Catherine Logan slammed the door behind him, shouting something like 'get the hell out of my house', still not knowing who it was.

''When she turned back towards the living room she saw 'orange and crackling' and the room turning black. She also heard Cameron and Rebecca screaming.''

She tried to open the door to the room without success and ran out of the house to ask neighbours for help, shouting to her husband to warn him.

Ms Williams managed to roll onto the floor and crawl out of the room into the kitchen where she was not able to open the back door, and put her head in the fridge to protect herself from the fire.

Mr Logan senior tried to get into the living room but was beaten back by the intensity of the smoke and flames.

He managed to get out of the house, before he and neighbour John Weir rescued Ms Williams from the kitchen.

Ms Williams suffered burns to her arms and face, and needed a skin graft on one of her hands.

She suffered damage to her throat, vocal cords and lungs and has undergone surgery four times. Her tracheostomy may be permanent.

The attack was said to be in retaliation for a recent incident at the house when his brother had punched him.

A computer seized from Logan's bedroom showed that from October 2016 he had carried out internet searches on burns victims.

The 27-year-old, who was a Tesco store assistant, admitted killing his brother during a police interview on January 13.

He told officers: ''It was not my intent to kill him but I did do it.''

When charged with the attempted murder of Ms Williams, he said: ''I thought she was out of the room'', and added: ''I did not wish to murder my parents.''

Defence lawyer Shelagh McCall QC said Logan showed ''wicked recklessness'' but did not intend to kill his sibling.

Two psychiatric reports on Logan concluded there was not sufficient evidence for a plea of diminished responsibility.

Ms McCall said there were ''unusual traits'' in his personality and that he had a lack of understanding of the impact of his actions on other people.

She said he did not envisage that his brother would be killed, saying: ''He believed his brother would simply roll over and douse out the flames, suffering only maiming.''

Lady Scott deferred sentence until August 11 at the High Court in Livingston, pending background reports.