Aberdeen man cleared of murder bid as ex says she set herself alight

A model car fan charged with trying to kill his ex by setting fire to her has walked free – after she said she torched herself.

Frank Rodger was said to have attacked Elisa Simmers a day after they split in September last year.

Rodger allegedly threw a “flammable liquid” over the 53-year-old then lit it at her home in Torry.

A jury heard the 52-year-old kept fuel to power his model cars.

Miss Simmers recalled “going up flames” – but stated she was the one who shook liquid from a bottle on to her body.

At the High Court in Glasgow yesterday she said: “I said: ‘You want to petrol bomb me’.

“I then said: ‘I will do it for you’. I poured it all over myself. I did not think it was flammable.

“I thought I would scare him.”

But, after a lighter was then used, she ended up catching fire.

She said it had been “torture” before two friends, also in the flat, rushed to try to put out the flames.

Miss Simmers was quizzed in court about claims she had apparently made in the wake of the incident.

This included an allegation that Rodger had come to her flat “with two petrol bombs and shook them at me”.

She was also said to have stated “he set me on fire”.

But, Miss Simmers told jurors: “As far as I know, I done it myself.”

The extent of her injuries were not revealed, but the court heard she ended up being treated in Aberdeen Royal Infirmary.

After questioning Miss Simmers, prosecutor Keith Stewart QC said it had been decided it was no longer in the “public interest” to continue with the case.

Rodger, also of Aberdeen, had been accused of attempted murder and sending his ex texts of a “menacing character”.

Judge Norman Ritchie QC told Rodger he had been formally acquitted. The trial began on Thursday afternoon and Miss Simmers gave evidence for about 90 minutes before the case was dropped.

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