Edinburgh, Fife & East Scotland

Man guilty of murder bid after setting woman on fire

High Court in Livingston Image copyright Google
Image caption A jury at the High Court in Livingston took just over an hour to find Watson guilty of attempted murder

A man has been convicted of pouring lighter fluid over a woman and setting her on fire.

Stewart John Watson was found guilty of attempted murder after the attack in the West Lothian village of Polbeth in September 2015.

The 36-year-old targeted former model Anne Crossan on the doorstep of her home, leaving her with serious burns to her face, neck, scalp and hand.

Lord Bannatyne called for background reports before sentencing.

Watson denied the offence, but a jury at the High Court in Livingston took just over an hour to return a majority verdict finding him guilty.

Induced coma

Ms Crossan, 47, was put on life support in an induced coma for two weeks following the attack on 4 September 2014.

She was scarred for life and has had to relearn how to walk and talk, and is still undergoing treatment.

She told the court that Watson had threatened to "murder" her after she had disclosed information about him to his then-girlfriend.

Police found lighter fluid on the trainers he was wearing on the evening of the attack, and two cans of a similar fluid in his home in the village near Livingston, one of them empty.

Forensic scientists matched the lighter fluid to traces found on a top Ms Crossan had been wearing.

Watson, who has been in custody since his arrest the day after the attack, will be sentenced at the High Court in Edinburgh on 5 August.

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