A north-east man, accused of killing a father-of-five in a flat fire nearly 20 years ago, has pleaded not guilty.
Fraserburgh man Barry Henderson appeared in Glasgow High Court yesterday where he lodged his plea.
He is charged with the murder of Gordon Graham and the attempted murder of his wife, Anne, almost two decades after a blaze destroyed their flat in the port’s High Street in the early hours of Sunday, May 3, 1998.
Mrs Graham survived the fire by climbing onto a window ledge and jumping down to the roof of a police van which was parked below.
However, dozens of animals in a ground floor pet shop died in the inferno when the roof of the building collapsed.
The incident was initially ruled to have been an accident. But the investigation into Mr Graham’s death was reopened in 2009, at the same time as police launched a fresh probe into the deaths of Derek Youngson and his stepfather Derek Roy in a fire at a flat in Fraserburgh’s Kirk Brae in 2006.
Henderson was charged in relation to the alleged crime in High Street last February. His trial has been scheduled for July 31.
Last night, Mr Graham’s daughter, Sharon, who still lives in the north-east, said she was aware that Henderson had appeared in Glasgow High Court.
She added her hope that her dad and mother would get “justice”.
Originally from Glenrothes, the family were forced to relocate to Aberdeenshire following trouble with neighbours in the Fife town in 1994.
They lived in Aberdeen for a spell before relocating first to Rosehearty and then Fraserburgh with their children, Dean, David, Heather and Sharon.
Eldest son James also joined them after being released from a young offenders institution.
He served two-thirds of a five-year sentence for knocking down a former beauty queen in a stolen car on Christmas Eve 1994.
He subsequently died in 2002, aged 26, following a car crash near Rosehearty.
His 18-year-old brother, Dean, died a year earlier.
His body was found in his ground floor flat in Fraserburgh’s Marconi Road by police, who were called to the address by members of his concerned family.