A YOUNG woman wept in court today as she told a judge that she feared she would be killed by her ex-boyfriend who has been charged with torching her Dublin home.
On Sunday night, gardai used a ladder to rescue several occupants when a house, which is divided into apartments, on the South Circular Road went up in flames. Dublin Fire Brigade rushed to the scene and extinguished the blaze meanwhile 24-year-old Sintia Teika, who is from Latvia, was taken to St James's hospital for treatment for minor burn injuries.
The following day, father-of-one Vladimirs Li (29), who is originally from Latvia but has an address at Leinster Road, in Rathmines, Dublin, was detained at Kevin St Garda station for questioning.
This morning, he was brought before Dublin District Court charged with arson in connection with the incident.
Garda Colleen Doherty gave evidence and told Judge Victor Blake that Mr Li was charged this morning and when cautioned he made no reply. Gda Doherty objected to bail citing the seriousness of the charge and fears of possible interference with witnesses.
The officer told Judge Blake that in the days leading up the fire, Mr Li allegedly sent threatening and abusive text messages to Ms Teika, his ex-girlfriend, whom he had known for about three months.
It was alleged he called her a “fucking bitch” in one message, and in another asked “Are you having sex with everybody”. The court also heard claims another text message to her said: “I will be waiting for you”.
The court heard that directions from the DPP have to be obtained and it would be alleged that on the date of the incident, Mr Li was captured on CCTV going to a filling station in Rathmines. Judge Blake heard it would also be claimed he arrived at the house on South Circular Road with a petrol cannister in his hand, gained entry and started the fire while other witnesses were present.
Gda Doherty said Ms Teika “fears for her life”.
The court heard that Mr Li has one child from a previous relationship and worked as a kitchen porter. He did not address the court and sat facing downwards, crying as his ex-girlfriend gave evidence.
Ms Teika, whose hands were bandaged, got into witness box and broke down as she told the judge “he wants to kill me”.
Defence counsel Edel Gilligan said Mr Li was seeking bail and would abide by conditions such as signing on at a Garda station several times daily and would stay away from the location where Ms Teika lives.
However, Judge Blake refused bail and remanded the 29-year-old, who has not yet indicated how he will plead to the charges in custody. His next hearing will take place at Cloverhill District Court tomorrow (THUR, JAN 17).