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Film of fire rescue halts murder trial

A MAN accused of murder sobbed as his trial was shown CCTV footage of firefighters rescuing a woman from a hair salon.

Smoke was seen coming from the basement premises in Stirling on the film screened to jurors at the High Court in Edinburgh.

But the judge, Lady Wise, pointed out that Ahmad Yazdanparast seemed to be very distressed as the footage was shown and called a short adjournment in the proceedings before resuming evidence.

Mr Yazdanparast, 61, has denied murdering Ahdieh Khayatzadeh or Yazdanparast by assaulting her at the Venus Hair and Beauty Salon in Maxwell Place, Stirling, last October 12.

It is alleged he poured petrol or a similar flammable substance over her head and body, ignited it and set fire to her and that she was so severely injured she died in hospital.

It is also alleged Mr Yazdan­parast previously displayed malice and ill-will towards her.

He has lodged a special defence maintaining he was acting in self-defence.

Charity manager James Marshall, 27, told the court he had been at a florist's shop when he saw a man coming up stairs with his chest on fire but that the flames were extinguished.

Mr Marshall went to check on him and asked his name. He said the man was not responsive at first but told him his name was Chico.

The witness said the man had burns injuries to his hands, an arm and the skin on his forehead seemed to be peeling.

He went into the property with another man and found a closed door with flames right up at it. He said he was screaming and shouting in an attempt to check if anyone else was there.

He said: "There was no response at all. People on the outside were shouting on me to get back outside the property."

He returned to the premises a second time with another man.

"People were shouting at us to come back because the fire brigade had just arrived at that point," he said.

Advocate depute Tim Niven-Smith asked if he had gone back to speak to the man Chico.

Mr Marshall said: "I asked him what had caused the fire and he said petrol."

Mathew Morris, 31, told the court he had known Chico from buying kebabs from him in the past.

He said he had seen a man with a jacket wrapped around his arm come up to the top of the steps before he fell over.

He went over to the man and recognised him as Chico and noticed he appeared to have burns.

He said a young man who had been next to Chico asked him if anyone else was involved and he replied a woman and they went to see if they could seen anyone.

He later became aware of fire personnel attending at the scene and saw a woman being brought out with severe facial burns.

The trial continues.

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