Tuesday 20 August 2019

Homeless man jailed for setting fire to heat sleeping bag

Dublin Circuit Criminal Court
Dublin Circuit Criminal Court

Sonya McLean

A former homeless man who set fires in wheelie bins to heat his sleeping bag has been sentenced to three years in prison for arson at two Dublin locations.

Garda Martin Folan accepted at an earlier sentence hearing in December 2017 that Dwayne Barry (30) had set the bins alight so he could wrap his sleeping bag around them and that he had tried to put out the blazes when they got out of control.

Barry, with an address at North Circular Road, pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to arson at Ardoyne House, Pembroke Park, Ballsbridge, causing €45,000 damage to two cars on January 25, 2016.

The Porsche and BMW parked in the garage were written off as a result off the fire.

He further pleaded guilty to arson at Burlington House, Waterloo Lane, Ballsbridge, which caused structural damage of more than €18,000 on February 28, 2016.

Barry has 86 previous convictions including thefts, robberies and criminal damage.

He told gardaí at the time of the offences he was living rough and spending his dole money on drink.

Judge Karen O'Connor had adjourned the case a number of times since hearing the evidence first in December 2017 to give Barry an opportunity to engage with addiction services.

He has also been under probation supervision for that period.

Yesterday, she sentenced Barry to three years in prison but suspended the final 12 months on strict conditions.

Judge O'Connor accepted that Barry had been "genuinely motivated" and the Probation Service had indicated that he was willing to engage with it.

She said arson was a serious offence that could potentially cause significant destruction and endanger lives, before she added that fire was "also difficult to control".

The judge accepted that Barry apologised and had tried to put the fire out after it had taken hold.

Irish Independent

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