A WOMAN who claims to have been doused in petrol and threatened with being burned alive in a Gourock car park lied to a jury about the alleged incident, it has been suggested at a trial.

The 53-year-old company director says accused Andrew Mulholland, 26, squirted an accelerant onto her from a plastic bottle and said he was going to torch her following a minor collision.

Lawyer David Tod questioned her account of the alleged assault which she claims was followed up by the car she was a passenger in being chased and rammed by a silver-coloured BMW.

Mr Tod put it to her: "I'm saying you're lying."

Greenock Sheriff Court had heard how the woman's red Vauxhall Corsa, which was being driven by her husband, 57, with their 25-year-old son a back seat passenger, contained 'weapons' in the form of a golf club and a garden rake.

Mr Tod put it to the woman: "Were you and your family hitting the BMW with the rake and the club?"

She replied: "No, it didn't happen."

Mulholland's co-accused, Sean McGartland, 31, is charged with repeatedly ramming the BMW into the Corsa following a 'dangerous' pursuit through Gourock on April 29 last year.

The alleged petrol attack victim's husband told the court that the force of the blows on Manor Crescent caused the Corsa's two front wheels to 'snap inwards' and that the 'steering was gone'.

However, he managed to drive the car onto Shore Street outside the Old Wherry Tavern, which he said he and his wife considered to be a place of safety because of CCTV coverage.

Footage played in court shows him taking the rake and golf club from the car and concealing them behind the door of a common close next to the pub.

The man said: "My wife wanted me to have them nearby so that if they [the accused] came back I could wave them about."

He told the court that the club was an item he'd used to make up an extra set when golfing with his sons and the rake had been borrowed from his father-in-law to tidy up fallen leaves.

Defence lawyer Aidan Gallagher questioned why leaves would have to be raked up in springtime and put it to the witness that he had reversed his Corsa into the BMW within the car park off Tarbet Street.

The husband dismissed as 'total rubbish' a suggestion that it was he who had pursued the BMW.

Solicitor Mr Tod pointed out that the Corsa had been parked on Shore Street almost out of the range of the CCTV camera.

He said: "Maybe you didn't stop far enough from the camera and you're caught hiding the rake and the golf club."

Mr Tod went on: "Is it not the case that you got everything out of that car that was incriminating before the police arrived?"

The husband responded: "No, we never hit any car."

The court heard that the husband and wife never mentioned the rake and the golf club to the police in their statements, and their son refused to speak to officers.

A 29-year-old former barman at the Old Wherry told how he recovered both items from a bin cellar outside the back door of the close.

Mr Tod asked: "If someone wanted to keep the rake and golf club handy, could they have got them any further away from the front door?"

The witness replied: "No."

Mulholland, of Fintry Road in Greenock, was charged with assaulting the woman by squirting petrol, or a similar liquid substance, on her and threatening to set her on fire.

McGartland, of Balloch Road, was accused of driving dangerously on Tarbet Street, Manor Crescent and Burnside Road, all Gourock, and causing his car to collide with that of the family's and thereafter pursue it and repeatedly strike it.

Both men denied the allegations and a special defence of self defence was lodged. Both were found not guilty after trial.