A man who laughed as he set his former partner on fire has been sent to a high security psychiatric hospital.
Kevin Marks, 48, stood over businesswoman Ann Drummond, 47, as she rolled around the ground in a bid to extinguish the flames engulfing her body.
The High Court in Edinburgh heard how Marks started the fire on June 25, 2019, in Ms Drummond’s car at a road near Bathgate, West Lothian.
Ms Drummond had been so concerned by Marks’ poor mental health that she had gone to meet him at court moments after he had been released on bail on other charges.
The court heard how paramedics rushed to the scene and took her to hospital. Medics later found that more than 80 per cent 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.
Police later arrested Marks, also of Bathgate, and charged him with murder.
But prosecutors accepted a not guilty plea from Marks last month on the basis that his mental health was so poor that he wasn’t responsible for his actions.
On Wednesday afternoon, judge Simon Collins QC heard how psychiatrists who had examined Marks concluded that he had suffered from paranoid schizophrenia.
Medical staff at the State Hospital recommended Marks be given an order that compels him to receive medical treatment at the facility. They also recommended that he be kept there indefinitely.
Judge Collins agreed to impose the restriction and treatment order on Marks.
He said: “This is a horrifying and tragic case. There is nothing which the court can say or do which will ease the pain and suffering of the friends and family of the deceased.
During earlier proceedings, the court heard how before attacking Ms Drummond, Marks had been arrested earlier in the same week in connection with other alleged offences. Officers were so concerned by his mental health that he was twice assessed by community forensic nurses.
However, the medical staff concluded that he was fit to be released and he later appeared at Livingston Sheriff Court and was granted bail.
Marks then attacked his former partner in her vehicle at an unclassified countryside road near to Bathgate.
Prosecutor Alan Cameron told the court that eyewitnesses noticed a car on fire and phoned 999.
He added: “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.”
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 – the pair split a week before she died.
He had previously helped Ms Drummond with her dog walking business.
Mr Cameron also explained the reasons why the Crown accepted the not guilty pleas.
He said: “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.”
On Wednesday, the court heard that psychiatrists who have assessed Marks believe he has a “superficial” understanding of his actions. Medical staff believe they need time to treat him and manage his condition.
Marks observed proceedings via video link.
Defence advocate Shelagh McCall QC said her client appreciated the need for him to be sent to Carstairs.
She added: “Mr Marks appreciates the need for him to be in the State Hospital and realises the need for treatment.
“My instructions from him are to ask for the imposition of a treatment and restriction order.”
Judge Collins then passed the order.