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Son 'poured petrol on his mother and set her on fire'

Eleanor Banks tells court she saw William Kelly set alight 71-year-old Catherine Kelly.

Fire: Kelly denies assault and murder.
Fire: Kelly denies assault and murder. STV

A woman has told a murder trial she saw her former partner set his 71-year-old mother on fire.

Eleanor Banks, 44, said William Kelly was pouring liquid from a petrol can over his mother Catherine Kelly, who was lying face-down on the living room floor.

Kelly denies murdering his 71-year-old mother at the home they shared on Kilmaurs Road in Kilmarnock, East Ayrshire, on February 11.

The 41-year-old also is accused of assaulting her, pouring petrol over her body and setting her on fire.

He also denies assaulting Mrs Banks, who gave evidence at the High Court in Glasgow on Wednesday.

'I've never seen anything like it. In the blink of an eye she was on fire.'
Eleanor Banks

Mrs Banks told prosecutor Ashley Edwards QC: "William was emptying a petrol can on to his mum - all over her - and I couldn't stop him.

"I was standing screaming 'you're going to kill your mum' and he was saying 'die'.

"The liquid smelled like petrol. He went down and he set fire at the bottom of her legs. I've never seen anything like it. In the blink of an eye she was on fire."

Mrs Banks, who was in a relationship with Kelly for two years, was giving evidence at his trial.

The court heard Mrs Banks, Kelly and his mother had been out earlier that evening at a 21st birthday party for one of Mrs Banks' sons.

They left the party by taxi and headed home.

The jury heard Mrs Kelly fell outside the venue and again outside her home on Kilmaurs Road.

When they got inside Kelly accused his mother of embarrassing him at the party, Mrs Banks claimed.

She said: "He flung Cathy on to an armchair and just kicked off right away. Roaring and shouting that she was an embarrassment.

"He kicked her on the legs and punched her on the side of the head."

'He was trying to grab his mother by the legs and traill her out, but she was in flames.'
Eleanor Banks

Mrs Banks, a mother of five, claimed Kelly then flung his mother face-down on to the floor and assaulted her again while shouting "die, you've ruined my life, I hate you, I can't get a life for you".

She added: "It was horrible."

The court heard Mrs Banks left Kelly alone with his mother while she went to the toilet.

She told the jury that when she came back he was pouring liquid over his mother's body and he then set it alight.

Mrs Banks added: "He was standing at his mother's legs with his head in his hands saying: 'Oh, my God.'

"I went into the kitchen and got a glass of water and came back into the living room. The curtains and everything was on fire.

"William was still standing there. He was trying to grab his mother by the legs and trail her out but she was in flames."

The trial before judge Lady Stacey continues.

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