NE Scotland, Orkney & Shetland

Man on trial for attempted murder after Elgin fire

A man has gone on trial accused of trying to murder five people in a fire bomb attack at a flat in Elgin.

John MacDonald is accused of setting fire to the property by throwing a bottle of petroleum spirit or another flammable liquid through the window in December last year.

The High Court in Aberdeen heard two of the people injured in the blaze were his ex-girlfriend and her new partner.

The 43-year-old denies attempted murder.

Alastair Brooks was said to have been severely injured and permanently disfigured in the fire at the flat in the Kingsmills area of the town on 12 December 2011.

George Lindsay, Anne Roate, Daniel Docherty and Lisa Sharp were also said to have been severely injured during the incident - which is alleged to have been racially motivated.

Threatening manner

Witnesses told the court Mr MacDonald had previously been dating Lisa Sharp and told how she had started a relationship with George Lindsay just before the alleged murder bids.

Mr MacDonald, of Elgin, is further alleged to have repeatedly called Mr Lindsay on the phone on the day of the incident, threatened him with violence and made the sounds of a firearm being cocked.

He is charged with acting in a threatening and abusive manner intended to cause him fear and alarm.

He is further alleged to have entered a nearby property in Kingsmills with a bottle containing a flammable liquid and kicked the tenant, Francis Forsyth, on the head while demanding to know the whereabouts of Mr Lindsay.

Mr Forsyth, 32, told the court he had been drinking with friends when Mr MacDonald appeared in his living room uninvited with a glass bottle.

Taxi driver Graham Ritchie, 50, told the court that he dropped Mr MacDonald off near Mr Forsyth's before the alleged incident.

He said the accused was not carrying anything at the time.

The trial, before Lord Stewart, continues.

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