Fraserburgh man on trial 19 years after fire death

Alexander Road in Glenrothes became known as 'Little Bosnia' during the Grahams' reign of terror
Alexander Road in Glenrothes became known as 'Little Bosnia' during the Grahams' reign of terror

A Fraserburgh man has gone on trial for murder 19 years after a house fire in which the father of a so-called ‘family from hell’ died.

Barry Henderson (42) is accused of wilfully setting fire to materials in the ground floor common stair and landing area in High Street, Fraserburgh in May 1998.

Prosecutors at the High Court in Glasgow this week said that the blaze spread to the two flats occupied by the Graham family, killing Gordon Graham.

The jury heard that he died of smoke inhalation and his body was scorched by fire.

At the time of his death he was ‘substantially under the influence of alcohol and cannabis.’

Henderson is also accused of attempting to murder Gordon’s wife Anne.

The Grahams moved to Aberdeenshire afrer being evicted from their home in Alexander Road, Glenrothes, which became known as ‘Little Bosnia’ due to their reign of terror.

At the time of his death, Gordon had almost 60 convictions.

The Grahams had three sons, James, David and Dean, and two daughters, Heather and Sharon.

Dean died of a suspected drugs overdose at the age of 18 in 2001 and the following year James (25) drowned after crashing his car.

His body was recovered from the North Sea three weeks after the accident.

In 1994, James was jailed for five years after knocking down 25 year-old Pauline McConnachie – who later had to have a leg amputated – in a Christmas Eve hit-and-run while joyriding in a stolen car.

In 1995, the Grahams were finally ordered out of their house in Alexander Road following a 17-day eviction hearing, ending years of misery for their neighbours.

An attempt to evict them had been made by the then Glenrothes Development Corporation the previous year due to persistent anti-social behaviour, but sheriff officers had been pelted by metal objects and excrement.

The house had been barricaded and the door handle electrified.

Henderson, who is represented by defence QC Brian McConnachie, denies all the charges against him and has lodged special defences of alibi and incrimination.

The trial, which is expected to last five weeks, continues.