A man told a court how he tried to extinguish a car blaze with a cup of water before the vehicle exploded.
David Elliot was giving evidence in the trial of his former partner, Bernadette Adams, and David Taylor, who are accused of setting fire to his Ford Fiesta on Perth’s Nimmo Place in the early hours of May 15.
The trial heard the car was destroyed after Adams, 38, of Park Terrace, Auchterarder had been rowing with Mr Elliot.
Defence lawyer Louisa Wade, representing Adams, suggested either Mr Elliott had set fire to the car himself to damage his former partner’s reputation, or another “enemy” of his carried out the attack, motivated by his provocative social media account.
Giving evidence, Mr Elliott said he had seen Adams’ silver Citroen car on Primose Crescent, adjoining Nimmo Place, 10 minutes after his car was first seen on fire.
He said: “I was watching a bit of tele. I had work the next day so I went to my bed at about 11.30 or 12. My car was parked right outside. It was in a perfect state. I had just been touching up the bumpers to make it look a bit better.
“It must have been about two o’clock in the morning when my partner woke up and said she had heard a bang. I went to the front door and saw an orange glow, but still thought nothing of it.
“But when I opened the door, it was my car in flames. The heat from it was so bad I had to go out of the back door.”
He told the court he ran back in a got a cup of water to throw on the vehicle.
“I was in my boxer shorts and I threw it on and it just sizzled away. The fire was on the back right hand side of the car. In about three minutes the whole thing exploded.”
The trial heard evidence from neighbours that raised voices from a man and woman were heard in the street before the fire. Police and firefighters were also called to give evidence.
James McConnon, a community police officer in Auchterarder, told the court he had arrested Adams on the night of the fire after she had returned to her home in the car with co-accused Taylor, 27, of Baker Lane, St Andrews.
The court was shown a bottle of white spirits, three quarters full and partially covered with soot, that the police officer had removed from the Citroen in which Adams and Taylor had been travelling.
“Mr Taylor picked up a bottle of white spirits from the foot stool of the passenger side of the car and handed it to me,” the police officer told the court.
Douglas Williams, Taylor’s defence lawyer, suggested the police officer’s testimony was inconsistent with the official statement he had written after the arrest.
Adams and Taylor deny wilful fireraising, while both were on bail.
The trial was adjourned until Wednesday, November 7.