West Lothian killer, 48, who stood laughing as he set fire to ex partner near Bathgate is sent to high security psychiatric hospital

A killer who stood laughing as he set his former partner on fire has been sent to a high security psychiatric hospital.

By James Mulholland
Tuesday, 15th September 2020, 7:05 pm

Kevin Marks, 48, stood over businesswoman Ann Drummond as she rolled around the ground in a bid to put out the fire which he had started on June 25, 2019 in her car at a road near Bathgate.

The High Court in Edinburgh heard how paramedics rushed to the scene and took her to hospital.

Medics later found that over 80 per cent of Ms Drummond’s body was injured by burns.

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Ann Drummond died after being set on fire on a country road near Bathgate.

She later died at Glasgow’s Royal Infirmary Hospital after doctors concluded her injuries were so severe that she couldn’t survive.

In the hours before the attack, Ms Drummond was so concerned by her partner’s poor mental health she met with him as he was released on bail in connection with other charges.

Police later arrested Marks, also of Bathgate, and charged him with murder.

He had been arrested earlier in the same week in connection with other alleged offences.

Officers were so concerned by Marks’s mental health that he was twice assessed by community forensic nurses.

However, they concluded that he was fit to be released and he later appeared at Livingston Sheriff Court and was granted bail.

However, Marks, a patient of the State Hospital at Carstairs, then attacked his former partner in her vehicle at an unclassified countryside road near to Bathgate.

‘Rolling on the ground as he laughed’

Prosecutor Alan Cameron told the court that eyewitnesses noticed a car on fire.

He added: “People who saw the car noticed that it was on fire with smoke coming from it.

“It had been parked with the passenger’s side door close to a gate which would prevent it from opening.

“The first people who were driving on the road stopped when they saw what was happening.

They saw Mr Marks standing in the roadway badly burned and Ms Drummond lying on the verge apparently even more burned.

“They asked Mr Marks if he had contacted the emergency services and he replied ‘no’ so they called 999.

“Paramedics arrived at approximately 6.25pm and both Ms Drummond and Mr Marks were treated and taken to Edinburgh Royal Infirmary by ambulance.

“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 per cent of her body.

“She was given emergency treatment, placed in an induced coma and transferred later that evening to Glasgow Royal Infirmary.

“Several consultants examined her and found that her burns were so severe that they were non survivable.

“A decision was made to remove her from life support and provide palliative care. This was done at 12.30pm on June 26 and she was made comfortable until she passed away at 2am on June 27.”

The story emerged after Marks pleaded not guilty to charges of murder, assault and threatening behaviour and the Crown accepted them.

On the legal document stating the charges facing Marks, the Crown claimed the murder was aggravated under section one of the 2016 Abusive Behaviour and Sexual Harm Act. This part of the legislation covers abusive behaviour towards partners and former partners.

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.

Poor mental health

Mr Cameron said that people who had met Marks in the week before the attack thought his mental health was poor.

The court heard how Marks reported a series of ‘bizarre’ allegations about Ms Drummond and other people to the police on June 20.

Officers who attended to speak to him about it were concerned by his mental health and he was taken to St John’s Hospital in Livingston, West Lothian, for psychiatric assessment before being released.

The court heard that on the following day, police later went to his home after he reported more ‘bizarre’ allegations. The officers didn’t take statements from him because they thought he wasn’t mentally capable.

On June 24, the court heard how Marks went to his aunt’s home - his 94-year-old grandmother was present when he made a series of bizarre and sexualised comments.

The court also heard how he went to the Glenmavis Tavern in Bathgate and assaulted the landlord with a dog lead.

Police arrested him and took him into custody. He was assessed by community forensic nurses at 11.30pm on June 24 and 8.15am on June 25. He was deemed fit for release and later appeared in court and was given bail in relation to the alleged assault on the landlord.

Mr Cameron told the court that Ms Drummond was “concerned” about Mr Marks’s well being and met with him in the foyer of Livingston Sheriff Court.

The advocate depute said: “They walked to Ms Drummond’s vehicle and left together with Mr Marks driving and Ms Drummond in the front passenger seat.”

Eyewitnesses phoned emergency services. The court heard that fire crews arrived at the scene at 6.15pm.

Mr Cameron added: “An officer approached Ms Drummond who was obviously very badly injured and attempted to assist her until paramedics arrived. She told him three times ‘he set me alight’.

“Meanwhile, another fire officer was tending to Mr Marks. He provided his name and made a series of odd comments with allusions to the bizarre allegations he had been making in the previous week.”

Mr Cameron told the court that Marks was taken to hospital and he told paramedics that he and Ms Drummond had spoken about dying together. The Crown said there was no information available to suggest this is true.

Mr Cameron added: “When asked about whether Ms Drummond had known that this was going to happen, he indicated that she had not.”

Marks was placed in a medically induced coma after he was found to have burns on 50 per cent of his body. He later recovered from his injuries.

Mr Cameron said that Ms Drummond’s family are grieving for her.

He added: “Ms Drummond leaves behind four adult children from a previous relationship who are devastated by her death and the manner of it.”

The police concluded the fire had been with an “accelerant”. A piece of melted plastic was found within the car

The Crown accepted Marks’s health was so poor at the time of the offence, he wasn’t responsible for his actions.

He was also acquitted of the charges which led to his Livingston Sheriff Court appearance.

Prosecutor Alan Cameron told the court: “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.”

Judge Collins adjourned proceedings to another hearing at the High Court in Edinburgh on October 28. The court will then decide how to proceed.

Marks continues to be detained at Carstairs.