Man 'threatened to burn ex's flat'
Published 15/01/2013 | 14:50
A man allegedly threatened to set fire to his ex-girlfriend's apartment the night before gardai rescued three people from a burning building, a court has been told.
Vladimirs Li, 29, of Leinster Road, Rathmines, appeared at Dublin District Court where he was charged with criminal damage by fire.
The Latvian's ex-girlfriend Sintia Teika, who suffered minor burns during the blaze on the South Circular Road in Dublin city on Sunday night, broke down in court as she revealed she feared for her safety.
Objecting to bail, Ms Teika told Judge Victor Blake she had known the accused only a few months.
"He wants to kill me. He burn me," she claimed as she showed her bandaged hands.
Members of the garda emergency response unit passing the scene of the fire used a ladder to rescue the 24-year-old's three neighbours.
Garda Colleen Doherty alleged the suspect sent his ex-girlfriend several abusive text messages in the days before the incident, including one which threatened to set fire to her apartment.
The garda told the court Li, a father of one, was recorded on CCTV buying petrol at a garage in Rathmines two hours before the alleged arson attack.
Witnesses claim they saw Li pull Ms Teika out of the building and go into her apartment where she discovered a fire, Gda Doherty said. Specialist gardai passing the scene rescued three residents in a second-storey apartment above, she added.
Gda Doherty said Li, who works as a kitchen porter, made no reply when charged at Kevin Street Garda Station. The judge refused bail and remanded Li, who cried after his ex-girlfriend gave evidence, in custody to reappear at Cloverhill District Court on Thursday.