Tuesday 20 August 2019

Dublin takeaway boss accused of arson attack and wielding a meat cleaver remanded

Accused: Takeaway owner Phuong Nguyen
Accused: Takeaway owner Phuong Nguyen

Tom Tuite

A DUBLIN takeaway boss accused of torching his sister and niece’s cars during an arson attack and wielding a meat cleaver at a toddler has been further remanded in custody.

Phuong Nguyen, 40, with an address at Templeview Row, Clarehall, in North Dublin allegedly caused more than €50,000 worth of damage during the incident on March 25 last.

He was refused bail last week and faced his second hearing today at Cloverhill District Court where he was further remanded in custody to appear again on April 17 next.

His solicitor Michael French has said there could be a fitness to plead issue in relation to Vietnamese-born Nguyen who moved to Ireland with his family in 1979.

His client was charged with arson of a his niece Hanh Dang’s two-year-old Ford Focus worth €22,000 and a ‘182-reg Nissan Qashqui belonging to his sister Bich Nguyen.

Both vehicles were destroyed in the incident at Templeview Green, in Clarehall.

He was charged with criminal damage to a window of the Ford car, threats to kill Ms Dang and possessing a meat cleaver as a weapon in the course of a fight

Detective Garda Niall Gibbs had given evidence that the accused man replied, “I say bulls*** to that” to one charge and had no reply to the other three.

Opposing bail due to the seriousness of the case, he had said gardai received a 999 call and found the accused on a grass area at 300 yards away from the scene.

His sister allegedly made a statement that he was responsible for the damage.

His niece Hanh Dang, the owner of the Ford Focus, told gardai she was sitting in her car when the defendant approached and smashed the rear window in on top of her

She managed to escape but described the accused running at her “with a really thick knife, like the knife they use in a butcher” and shouting “I’m going to kill youse, I’m f****** going to kill youse”.

The court heard Ms Dang described her uncle Phuong Nguyen as roaring and crazy. Her husband also described how he swung the cleaver at his wife and their two-year-old daughter before they got in the door of their house.

Detective Garda Gibbs said it was likely the case would be sent to the Circuit Court with possible sentences of between 10 years and life.

He said there was footage of the incident filmed on phones.

He submitted that the man was a threat to witnesses and a possible flight risk.

Mr French told the court his client had indicated he would be pleading not guilty.

He had run a takeaway in his locality, Mr French said.

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