Man laughed after setting ex-partner on fire inside car

Ann Drummond died in hospital after suffering round 85% burns to her body last year.

A man who stood laughing as he set his former partner on fire has been sent to a high security psychiatric hospital. 

Ann Drummond died in hospital after Kevin Marks, 48, doused her in petrol and set her alight inside her car near Bathgate, West Lothian, last year. 

The High Court in Edinburgh heard how Marks stood over Ms Drummond as she rolled around the ground in a bid to put out the fire on June 25.

Paramedics rushed to the scene and took her to hospital to find around 85% of Ms Drummond’s body was injured by burns. 

She later died at Glasgow’s Royal Infirmary Hospital after doctors concluded her injuries were so severe that she couldn’t survive. 

In the hours before the attack, Ms Drummond was so concerned by her partner’s poor mental health she met with him as he was released on bail in connection with other charges.

He had been arrested earlier in the same week in connection with other alleged offences. 

Officers were so concerned by Marks’ mental health that he was twice assessed by community forensic nurses. 

However, they concluded that he was fit to be released and he was granted bail. 

However, Marks, a patient of the State Hospital at Carstairs, then went on to attack his ex-partner in her vehicle on a countryside road.

Police later arrested Marks and charged him with murder. 

Prosecutor Alan Cameron told the court that eyewitnesses noticed a car on fire. 

He added: “People who saw the car noticed that it was on fire with smoke coming from it. 

“It had been parked with the passenger’s side door close to a gate which would prevent it from opening. 

“The first people who were driving on the road stopped when they saw what was happening. They saw Mr Marks standing in the roadway badly burned and Ms Drummond lying on the verge apparently even more burned. 

“They asked Mr Marks if he had contacted the emergency services and he replied ‘no’ so they called 999. 

“Paramedics arrived at approximately 6.25pm and both Ms Drummond and Mr Marks were treated and taken to Edinburgh Royal Infirmary by ambulance. 

“In the ambulance Ms Drummond spoke to paramedics. She said that she had been in the passenger seat and that Mr Marks had poured petrol on her and set her alight. 

“She said that she had got out of the car and while she was rolling on the ground trying to put the fire out he was standing over her laughing. 

“It was noted at this time that she had sustained head injuries. When asked about them she said that she did not know how they occurred. 

“At hospital Ms Drummond was found to have burns to approximately 85% of her body. 

“She was given emergency treatment, placed in an induced coma and transferred later that evening to Glasgow Royal Infirmary. 

“Several consultants examined her and found that her burns were so severe that they were non-survivable. 

“A decision was made to remove her from life support and provide palliative care. This was done at 12.30pm on June 26 and she was made comfortable until she passed away at 2am on June 27.”

Marks pled not guilty to charges of murder, assault and threatening behaviour and the Crown accepted them. 

On the legal document stating the charges facing Marks, the Crown claimed the murder was aggravated under section one of the 2016 Abusive Behaviour and Sexual Harm Act. This part of the legislation covers abusive behaviour towards partners and former partners. 

Mr Cameron told temporary judge Simon Collins QC on Tuesday how Ms Drummond had been in a relationship with Marks for around two-and-a-half years and the pair had split a week before she died.

Mr Cameron said that Ms Drummond’s family are grieving for her. 

He added: “Ms Drummond leaves behind four adult children from a previous relationship who are devastated by her death and the manner of it.”

The police concluded the fire had been with an “accelerant”. A piece of melted plastic was found within the car 

The Crown accepted Marks’ health was so poor at the time of the offence, he wasn’t responsible for his actions.  

He was also acquitted of the charges which led to his Livingston Sheriff Court appearance.

Prosecutor Alan Cameron told the court: “Mr Marks has pled not guilty on the basis that he is not criminally responsible for his conduct due to mental disorder. 

“That plea, and the existence of the mental disorder in question at the time of the conduct is supported by the psychiatrists who have prepared reports for the court. 

“The Crown accepts the plea of not guilty on that basis.”

Judge Collins adjourned proceedings to another hearing at the High Court in Edinburgh on October 28 2020. The court will then decide how to proceed. 

Marks continues to be detained at Carstairs.

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