Jurors at murder trial shown footage of accused’s denial

Gordon Graham, 43, died in a fire in High Street in Fraserburgh in May 1998
Gordon Graham, 43, died in a fire in High Street in Fraserburgh in May 1998

A murder trial has been shown footage of the accused denying involvement in starting a fatal fire that killed Gordon Graham as he was being charged by the police.

The video was shown at the trial of Barry Henderson, 42, who denies deliberately setting fire to the property at 74 High Street, Fraserburgh, and murdering 43-year-old Mr Graham, and attempting to murder his wife Anne, on May 3, 1998.

Henderson, 42, told police as he was being charged with the murder in January 2016: “I didn’t start any fire.”

The jury at the High Court in Glasgow was also shown still photographs taken from CCTV footage at Gordon’s electrical shop in High Street, Fraserburgh, allegedly taken around the time the fire is thought to have started.

One witness Graham Eadie, who is now dead, told police officer David Blakelock a man seen in some of the stills resembled Barry Henderson.

Defence QC Brian McConnachie asked the police officer how Mr Eadie died and was told it had been drug related.

The jury was told that when shown the photos one witness, Scott Henderson, thought the photograph was him, as did another witness but someone else thought it resembled another man.

A retired detective told the trial that another man was detained on suspicion of killing Gordon Graham and two other men who died in a separate fire in Fraserburgh.

David Ferguson, 52, a retired detective sergeant, told the court that in 2009 he had been part of a team reviewing the probe into the death of Mr Graham as well as the fire deaths of Derek Roy and Derek Youngson in a house fire at Kirk Brae, Fraserburgh, on Hogmanay 2006.

The court was told the officer went to Saughton Prison in Edinburgh on November 11, 2009 to take a statement from Steven Duthie – who had been seen nearby on CCTV.

Defence QC Brian McConnachie said: “It was believed rightly or wrongly that he had something to do with the fire.”

Mr Ferguson replied: “That’s right.”

The jurors were told there appeared to be discrepancies in Mr Duthie’s statement and on December 3, 2009, he was detained and taken to Livingston police station to be interviewed.

The court heard he had been detained there for six hours.

Barry Henderson is also accused of assaulting a woman in a nightclub in Fraserburgh, by kicking her on the leg and attempting to punch her, and of committing a breach of the peace at a nearby car park on May 3, 1998.

He further faces another charge that he behaved in a threatening manner on a bus between Crimond and Fraserburgh last November.

Henderson denies all the charges against him and has lodged special defences of alibi and incrimination.

The trial before Lord Ericht continues.