Man who burned down Dundee flats jailed for over eight years

Fire in Dundee The fire caused extensive damage to the flats on Garland Place

Related Stories

A fire-raiser who burned down a block of flats in Dundee has been jailed for eight-and-a-half years.

A judge at the High Court told Brian Martin his "wicked crime" had put residents of the Garland Place block in "real and substantial danger".

Residents had to be rescued and a firefighter was injured putting out the blaze which was started by the homeless 30-year-old on 25 April, 2012.

Martin was found guilty of wilful fire-raising last month.

The case was referred to the High Court in Edinburgh after a sheriff in Dundee said the five-year maximum penalty available to him was not enough.

Lord Boyd of Duncansby told Martin: "This was a wicked crime. You put the residents of this building in real and substantial danger for their lives."

The property remains extensively damaged, with the roof space completely destroyed.

'Malicious ignition'

Martin had been sleeping rough in the close of the tenement building after a resident who had been putting him up asked him to leave.

Brian Martin Brian Martin was jailed for eight and a half years

On the night of the fire, Martin was thrown out of the Salvation Army hostel on the city's Ward Road after he was caught drinking in his room with a fellow resident.

A fire incident report said the fire had been started by "malicious ignition", possibly by an accelerant being poured on the floor or squirted into a cupboard.

When fire crews arrived on the scene, they found eight out of nine residents at the windows of the tenement seeking rescue.

Firefighter James Ingram also had to be rescued by colleagues when he was injured during the blaze, after the wooden staircase collapsed and he fell eight feet.

As well as being found guilty of wilful fire-raising by a jury, Martin, described as a prisoner at HMP Perth, admitted a further charge of failing to appear at the sheriff court last year after he was earlier granted bail, leading to a police search.

Defence counsel Lili Prais said Martin had said he felt sorry for the occupants' loss.

She said he had been an alcoholic since his teenage years and was also involved in drug abuse. He had also been homeless since the age of 17.

'Extremely serious'

Dave Stapley, the local senior fire officer for Dundee, Angus and Perth and Kinross, welcomed the sentence for the "extremely serious" incident.

He said fire crews were on the scene for 16 hours following the blaze, along with city engineers who assessed the risks from the damaged building.

He added: "This incident had the potential to cause serious injury or even death, and had an adverse impact on the families who lived there.

"The Kirkton community centre had to be used to provide emergency accommodation for residents forced out of their homes due to the fire, and neighbouring flats also had to be evacuated.

"Deliberately-set fires are dangerous, they waste time and money, divert our crews away from genuine emergencies and put lives and property at risk - the cost to the service and our communities is staggering."

More on This Story

Related Stories

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites

BBC Tayside & Central

Weather

Dundee

Min. Night 8 °C

Scotland Live

  1.  
    21:12:

    Another poor ball by Charlie Mulgrew gives Astra a half chance in front of the Celtic goal, but the Romanians can't take advantage.

     
  2.  
    Scott Brown and Astra's William Amorim Scott Brown (left) has tried to inject some urgency as Celtic's captain but to little avail
     
  3.  
    21:06: KICK-OFF

    Astra kick off the second half looking to continue from where they left off in the first.

     
  4.  
    21:05:

    The players are back out on the pitch for the second half.

     
  5.  
    21:02:

    Only goalkeeper Craig Gordon, right-back Mikael Lustig and, only for his energy (if rather aimless), Scott Brown have really performed to their abilities in the first half for Celtic.

     
  6.  
    21:00:

    Celtic manager Ronny Deila said before the match that, if they played in the Scottish Premiership, Astra would be top. He may have meant only if his team were not playing in it, but on this performance, the Romanians could actually probably challenge Hamilton Academical for the title!

     
  7.  
    Red Bull Salzburg 2-0 Dinamo Zagreb (Alan Carvalho) 20:56:

    Brazilian striker Alan Carvalho has scored his second goal of the night to put Salzburg in control in the other Group D game.

     
  8.  
    20:55: Join the debate #bbcscotfootball

    EC: "Celtic should be at least 2 down by now. Would have been humiliated in Champions League! Need to keep possession better."

    I am Billy: "Think Celtic should be glad Astra have only brought 15 players with them. Craig Gordon earns them the win bonus AGAIN."

     
  9.  
    20:54: Alasdair Lamont BBC Scotland at Celtic Park

    "Not to put too fine a point on it, that was dire from Celtic. I mentioned momentum earlier and there's been absolutely no sign of the firepower that brought them five goals at the weekend. Instead, the Romanians have looked the likelier to score and Celtic can be thankful they haven't done. Ronny Deila needs to earn his corn at the interval."

     
  10.  
    20:52: Join the debate on BBC Scotland Facebook

    Dylan James McKaig: "Astra won 2-1 to Lyon in the play-off round and won by away goals. I can see why from this performance."

    James McKay: "Sorry, I've just had to turn off the Radio Commentary on BBC Scotland of the Celtic EuCup game. I can't handle the 'Jekyll and Hyde' syndrome that Deila has brought to Celtic."

     
  11.  
    Celtic 0-0 Astra Giurgiu 20:51: HALF-TIME
  12.  
    20:48:

    A Scott Brown cross takes a deflection and eventually falls for Anthony Stokes, but the Celtic striker's shot is blocked in front of goal by Cristian Oros.

     
  13.  
    20:43:

    All of Celtic's threat is coming from right-back Mikael Lustig and another deep cross finds Stefan Scepovic unmarked only eight yards from goal, but the misfiring striker heads weakly over the crossbar. Celtic's best chance so far.

     
  14.  
    20:43: Join the debate #bbcscotfootball

    Ray Gaw: "Celtic lucky not to be behind, some great crosses from Lustig, crying out for someone to take a gamble & get there!"

     
  15.  
    20:41:

    John James Donnelly on Facebook: "Come on Celtic, let's have a good performance and get goals."

     
  16.  
    20:39: Alasdair Lamont BBC Scotland at Celtic Park

    "All of a sudden Astra look pretty tidy and should probably be ahead. Three good chances (two smart Craig Gordon saves and a loose bit of finishing preventing the goals) and the home crowd aren't happy with the ease with which the Celtic defence is being carved open. Celtic have got to be better than this."

     
  17.  
    20:38: Former Celtic midfielder Murdo MacLeod on BBC Radio Scotland

    "We have been a bit disrespectful to Astra. We called them the whipping boys of the group, but just now they are playing the better football."

     
  18.  
    20:35:

    An awful ball across the face of his own penalty box by Celtic midfielder Charlie Mulgrew hands a good chance to Gabriel Enache, but the midfielder drives wide from 16 yards.

     
  19.  
    20:34: CLOSE!

    Astra's Vasileios Pliatsikas has to head away a dangerous Mikael Lustig cross to the back post and, although nothing comes of that, the Greek defender goes close to volleying into his own net after another ball looped in by the Swede.

     
  20.  
    20:30: Alasdair Lamont BBC Scotland at Celtic Park

    "Not much so far to excite the home fans who braved the wind and rain. Celtic have had plenty of possession but are yet to test Silviu Lung in the FC Astra goal."

     
  21.  
    20:27: GREAT SAVE!

    Craig Gordon stretches out a big leg to deny a low drive from Astra's Constantin Budescu. The visitors are piling on the pressure.

     
  22.  
    20:26:

    A superb 22-yard half-volley from Ghanaian midfielder Seidu Yahaya almost takes Craig Gordon by surprise and the Celtic goalkeeper chests it away in unconventional style.

     
  23.  
    20:25:

    It's Astra's turn to exert a bit of pressure on the Celtic defence, but it remains goalless in Glasgow with neither side having seriously threatened.

     
  24.  
    Red Bull Salzburg 1-0 Dinamo Zagreb (Alan Carvalho) 20:23:

    News from Austria is that Salzburg have taken the lead in the other Group D game through Brazilian defender Alan Carvalho.

     
  25.  
    20:20: Join the debate #bbcscotfootball

    cade evans: "We should win tonight, but how inconstant we are under Delia, I wouldn't be surprised if we got less!" Assume you are a Celtic fan there!

     
  26.  
    20:19: Former Celtic goalkeeper Pat Bonner on BBC Radio Scotland

    "It is a slow start by Celtic. They are not moving the ball with any urgency. They are maybe a bit worried about this team and are wanting to have a look at them."

     
  27.  
    20:16:

    Celtic defender Virgil van Dijk thumps a free-kick into the Astra defensive wall. Bit of a waste of a good opportunity there. Not exactly a Dutch master!

     
  28.  
    20:13: YELLOW CARD

    Astra midfielder Seydou Yahaya is the first into the referee's book for a lunging challenge as Celtic begin to exert some pressure.

     
  29.  
    20:09:

    Celtic win the first corner of the game and Charlie Mulgrew floats a header harmlessly over the crossbar after being found unmarked in acres of space 14 yards from goal by Anthony Stokes' cross to the far post.

     
  30.  
    20:09:

    Salzburg take on Dinamo Zagreb in the other Group D game in Austria and we'll keep you up to date with that too when we hear of anything.

     
  31.  
    20:07:

    Celtic concede an early free-kick as they whip the ball about the Glasgow pitch, but the Astra cross into the box is too close to home goalkeeper Craig Gordon.

     
  32.  
    20:05: Alasdair Lamont BBC Scotland at Celtic Park

    "Pretty dreich weather-wise in Glasgow this evening, but the pitch should be nice and slick as a result of the drizzle swirling around the stadium. Celtic have found it difficult to get any momentum this season, but tonight offers an opportunity to build upon the weekend thrashing of Ross County. Their Romanian opponents have had an even more sticky start to the season and lie bottom of Group D. Win here tonight and Celtic are well on the way to the knock-out stage."

     
  33.  
    20:05: KICK-OFF

    Celtic kick off in their traditional green and white hoops, with Astra in all black.

     
  34.  
    20:04:

    Ciaran Fitzgerald: "(3.05 am kick off to follow from singapore) Better be good or ill go car-azy."

     
  35.  
    20:03:
    Celtic goalkeeper Lukasz Zaluska is all smiles Celtic goalkeeper Lukasz Zaluska appears to have put his troubles behind him as he warms up
     
  36.  
    20:01:

    Here come the teams on to Celtic Park and the Europa League theme belts out in what looks like a half full stadium.

     
  37.  
    19:59:

    Celtic Park is looking a bit sparse at the moment. Let's hope those seats start to fill so we can get the kind of bouncing European atmosphere for which the stadium is renowned.

     
  38.  
    19:56: Join the debate #bbcscotfootball

    Martin Law: "I think that Astra are going to park the bus tonight. No, wait..."

     
  39.  
    19:55:

    Astra make two changes from their 1-1 draw with Gaz Metan. Constantin Budescu and Takayuki Seto come into midfield, with striker Aurelian Chitu and midfielder George Florescu, both Romanian internationals, dropping out, which suggests the visitors will be a bit more defensive in Glasgow as they were in their domestic league.

     
  40.  
    19:51: Alasdair Lamont BBC Scotland at Celtic Park

    "A big night this for Stefan Scepovic, who has yet to show what Ronny Deila and Celtic's scouts saw in him prior to his £2m summer move. Stefan Johansen seemed to relish his more advanced role against Ross County following the return of Charlie Mulgrew and the Celtic fans will be hoping for more of the same from him. And, with Mikael Lustig available again at right-back, Celtic look pretty strong."

     
  41.  
    19:44: Join the debate #bbcscotfootball

    jackos_da: "Think the wheels will fall off this Astra team tonight." Keep those car puns coming...

     
  42.  
    19:43:

    Celtic's line-up tonight shows only one change - on-loan Manchester City striker John Guidetti missing out again because he is not registered for the Europa League.

    His place is taken by Serbian forward Stefan Scepovic, whose Celtic career has yet to take off after his summer arrival.

    Goalkeeper Lukasz Zaluska is on the bench despite picking up two black eyes after a well-publicised incident in the early hours of Monday morning.

     
  43.  
    19:40:

    Astra qualified for European football for the first time two seasons ago but missed out on the Europa League group stage after losing in the play-off stage.

     
  44.  
    19:38:

    Astra are struggling in their domestic league - as well as in Europe - but it has to be remembered that they defeated French cracks Lyon to qualify for the group stage. Not only that, but they beat another famous name - Steau Bucharest - to win their first major trophy, the Romanian Cup, after a penalty shoot-out last season. They repeated that feat in the Romanian Super Cup as well.

     
  45.  
    19:36:

    Astra have not won a game since mid-September and have drawn two, lost two since, disposing of their head coach in the process.

    Former Soviet Union and Ukraine international Oleg Protasov took charge of his first match as boss at the weekend, having replaced Daniel Isaila, and his side recorded a 1-1 draw away to mid-table Gaz Metan Medias to now sit fourth in Romanian top flight.

     
  46.  
    19:34:

    Celtic returned to winning ways at the weekend with that five-goal thumping of Ross County, but that followed a 1-0 home defeat by surprise Scottish Premiership leaders Hamilton Academical, so Ronny Deila's side can take nothing for granted. As the Celtic manager said yesterday, Astra would probably win the Scottish top flight if they swapped places with the Glasgow side.

     
  47.  
    19:30: On BBC Sport Scotland Facebook

    Euan Maclean: "3-1 Celtic."

    Michael Farrell McGill: "2-0 the hoops"

    Richard Macmillan: "Who are they going to play next, Corsa?"

     
  48.  
    19:28: Join the debate

    Give us your thoughts on BBC Sport Scotland Facebook.

     
  49.  
    19:27:

    Astra are minus injured Ghana Under-23 striker Sadat Bukari, while French winger Elliot Grandi, previously of Blackpool, is also missing.

     
  50.  
    19:22:

    The Celtic starting line-up confirms that Kris Commons has failed a fitness test after the high-scoring midfielder also missed Saturday's 5-0 thumping of Ross County.

    Emilio Izaguirre has recovered from an injury he sustained in that match and starts at left-back.

     
  51.  
    19:20: LINE-UPS

    Celtic: Gordon, Lustig, Denayer, van Dijk, Izaguirre, Brown, Mulgrew, Johansen, McGregor, Scepovic, Stokes. Subs: Zaluska, Matthews, Ambrose, Tonev, Griffiths, Wakaso, Kayal.

    Astra Giurgiu: Lung Jr, Pliatsikas, Ben Youssef, Oros, Junior Morais, Laban, Yahaya, Enache, Seto, William Amorim, Budescu. Subs: Coman, Florescu, Bukari, Chitu, Fatai, Gaman, Rus.

    Referee: Kristinn Jakobsson (Iceland)

     
  52.  
    19:19: Join the debate by text on 80295
  53.  
    19:17: Join the debate #bbcscotfootball

    Tonight's visitors, Astra, are not named after a model of car by the way. Fotbal Club Astra Giurgiu are from Giurgiu, Romania, where they were founded in 1921 by an oil-company. Are there any other football clubs that might be mistaken for motor vehicles? Send us your ideas.

     
  54.  
    19:14:

    More on that Rangers statement later when we publish the full story. Now it's back to Celtic Park.

     
  55.  
    19:11:

    Dave King is heading back to South Africa and says he still hopeful that the club will accept his £16m investment offer despite no agreement being reached so far.

    "Our initial proposal to the board was to invest the full £16m by way of equity at 20p per share," he says in a statement.

    "The board requested that we consider a debt/equity mix that would reduce dilution for existing shareholders and allow the debt component to be advanced prior to the extended time frame required for the approval of additional equity.

    "We are amenable to this and to working with the board on the mechanics necessary to ensure that this is achieved provided that the full investment is recognised by way of board representation.

    "We wish to appoint an equal number of members to the board and have the key say regarding the appointment of the chairperson.

    "We will not invest funds and let the existing board determine how these funds are spent. That has not worked well in the past."

     
  56.  
    19:10:

    More of the game from Celtic Park to come. However, we can bring you news from across Glasgow, where former director Dave King has issued a fresh statement about his negotiations with Rangers about his proposal to provide vital funding for the cash-strapped Ibrox club.

     
  57.  
    19:08:

    Celtic start tonight's match hot favourites to beat Romanian visitors who sit bottom of Group D after losing their home opener 2-1 against Salzburg before being on the wrong end of a 5-1 hammering by Dinamo Zagreb in Croatia.

    Tonight's hosts, meanwhile, sit top after edging out Dinamo 1-0 at home before scraping a 2-2 draw in Austria.

     
  58.  
    19:05:

    Welcome to another European night, hopefully one full of drama, on the BBC Sport website.

    Here we have live text coverage as Celtic host Romanians Astra Giurgiu in the third round of fixtures in Group D of the Europa League.

    If your preference is trannies, you can tweak your dials to BBC Radio Scotland 810MW, where you will find live radio commentary by Liam MacLeod from Celtic Park.

     

Features

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.