Blair Logan admits murdering brother in fire attack

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Blair Logan and fire
Image caption,
Blair Logan poured petrol onto his brother's bed before setting it alight

A man has admitted murdering his brother by dousing him with petrol and setting him alight on New Year's Day.

Cameron Logan, 23, died in the blaze in Milngavie, East Dunbartonshire, and his girlfriend Rebecca Williams, 25, was seriously injured.

At the High Court in Glasgow, Blair Logan, 27, admitted murdering his brother and attempting to murder Ms Williams at the family home.

He confessed 12 days after the attack but claimed he did not mean to kill.

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 after a party and his mother Catherine set up an inflatable mattress for them in the living room.

Logan remained in his bedroom, emerging only to wish his parents a happy new year.

The young couple returned from the party at about 04:00 and went to sleep.

At about 07:15, 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.

Cameron Logan and Rebecca Williams also saw the man, holding something that was on fire, and screamed.

Image caption,
Cameron Logan died and Rebecca Williams was seriously injured in the fire on New Year's Day

Alex Prentice QC, prosecuting, 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 in vain to open the door to the room before running to ask neighbours for help.

Rebecca Williams managed to roll onto the floor and crawl into the kitchen. Unable to open the back door, she put her head in the fridge to protect herself from the fire before passing out.

'Planned to maim'

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

The prosecutor said the accused admitted pouring petrol "with the intention of maiming or crippling" his brother.

But after his arrest, Logan told police: "I didn't want to kill him."

In a police interview he said he took the petrol from a church garage a month and a half before the fire and stored it in his bedroom.

Searches of his computer found he had researched burn injuries.

The attack was said to be in retaliation for a "last straw" incident at the house a week earlier, when his brother had punched him.

He said he did not realise Ms Williams was in the bed and had not intended to harm her, or his parents.

Image source, Police Scotland
Image caption,
Cameron Logan with the family dog Gomez which also died in the fire
Image source, PA

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

He was said to have "felt physically sick at the whole thing".

Logan has been subject to two psychiatric reports which concluded there was not sufficient evidence for a plea of diminished responsibility.

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

Image source, PA
Image caption,
Rebecca Williams was in court to hear the guilty plea

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.

Ms Williams, a radio journalist, was rescued from the fire and treated in hospital for burns and the effects of breathing in smoke, and has undergone surgery on four occasions. She has had a tracheostomy to help her regain the power of speech.

Logan's parents were treated for smoke inhalation but were not badly injured.

Logan was arrested two weeks after the fire following a major Police Scotland investigation.

The family dog, Gomez, was also killed in the fire.

Logan also admitted endangering the lives of his parents.

Lady Scott asked for a social worker report and set a sentencing date for 11 August at the High Court in Livingston.