Man admits murdering brother in New Year's day house fire

A man has admitted murdering his brother and attempting to murder his brother's girlfriend in a New Year's Day house fire.

Blair Logan poured petrol on his younger brother Cameron, 23, and the bed he was sharing with Rebecca Williams as they slept at their family home in Milngavie, East Dunbartonshire, in the early hours of January 1 this year.

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

Blair Logan

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

He had been arrested two weeks after the fire amid a major Police Scotland investigation.

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

Logan was said to have had a "hostile relationship" with his brother and searches of his computer found he had researched burn injuries.

He was also charged with endangering the lives of his parents David and Catherine in the fire.

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.

Cameron Logan who was murdered.

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

Advocate Depute Alex Prentice said the accused admitted pouring petrol "with the intention of maiming or crippling" his brother.

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

Logan told detectives he took the petrol from a church garage a month and a half before the fire and stored it in his bedroom.

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.

The house where Logan murdred his brother

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

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 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.

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

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 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.

Rebecca 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 Rebecca from the kitchen.

She was then passed into the care of ambulance crews and taken to hospital, as were Mr and Mrs Logan.

The family dog died in the fire.


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