independent

Friday 24 October 2014

Gasto van arson man has his sentencing adjourned

Published 01/05/2012 | 10:40

A GOREY MAN who pleaded guilty to setting fire to a Road Safety Vehicle has had his sentence adjourned when he appeared before Judge Thomas Teehan at Wexford circuit Criminal Court last week.

Before the court was 21-year-old Martin Gowan, of Bolaney, Hollyfort, Gorey, Co. Wexford, who pleaded guilty to damaging by fire a vehicle (Speed Camera Van) at Gorey, Co. Wexford, on March 13, 2011.

Sgt Ray Heffernan told the court that a co-accused had appeared before a previous court last January when sentence was adjourned to October next when it was said such an offence merited a seven-year sentence.

He said on the evening a road safety van was operating outside Gorey when the defendant and a number of others purchased some petrol before returning to the location where the speed camera van was. On the occasion the defendant was the driver of the car.

Sgt Heffernan said other road users observed two men crouched by the van at about 7.30pm. He also said that Mr. John Mcdonald was inside the van when he smelled some burning. On getting out of the vehicle he observed flames under the van. The defendant was later interviewed and made a statement. Defence Counsel, Mr. Aidan Doyle, S.C., said the defendant had expressed his shame at being involved in such an incident and apologised to the operator of the vehicle.

Describing it as a very serious crime of arson, Judge Teehan said there was very little difference in his involvement and that of the others. This was also a huge loss of a Go Safe van and its sophisticated equipment.

Judge Teehan said he would adjourn sentence to October on condition that the defendant engage with the Probation Services and also involve himself on a voluntary basis to the benefit of the community.

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