Man admits murdering brother in New Year’s Day fire

Blair Logan pled guilty to murdering his brother
Blair Logan pled guilty to murdering his brother

A young north east Fife woman was in court today (Friday) to hear the man accused of murdering her partner and attempting to murder her by setting fire to them as they slept plead guilty.

Blair Logan (27) poured petrol on his younger brother Cameron (23) and the bed he was sharing with Rebecca Williams, who is from Wormit, at their family home in Milngavie, East Dunbartonshire, on New Year’s Day.

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

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

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

Both parents were in the court room, 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.

She may not be able to return to work as a broadcast journalist due to the damage caused.

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.

He admitted killing his brother during a police interview on January 13, telling 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.

Detective Superintendent Allan Burton, from Police Scotland’s Major Investigation Teams, said: “Today marks the end of an unusual and complex investigation which has left a family utterly devastated as a result of Blair Logan’s actions.

“A mother and father have lost both of their sons and a young woman has lost her partner, in a truly incomprehensible and tragic set of circumstances.

“This investigation involved a team of specialist officers that worked around the clock to piece together the events that led up to the fire being started on New Year’s morning, resulting in the death of Cameron Logan.

“This was undoubtedly a very distressful crime which took place right in the heart of Milngavie and the support of the local community, as well as the information provided by members of the public who were in the surrounding area that morning, were absolutely vital in helping us trace the person responsible.”

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