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Trial told of blast at garda station

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Joe Bartlett outside Tralee Court last year

Joe Bartlett outside Tralee Court last year

Joe Bartlett outside Tralee Court last year

A HOTEL porter who was angry at his arrest by gardai returned to the garda station where he had been held with three litres of petrol to carry out an explosion.

It was Joe Bartlett's second attack on Killarney Garda Station in a number of years, the Circuit Criminal Court in Tralee heard yesterday.

Bartlett (26) of Deerpark Crescent, Killarney, was arrested in the early hours of August 2, 2013, under the Public Order Act. He was released at 6.20am. However less than an hour later there was an explosion outside the station.

The attacker was pursued by one garda while another officer doused the flames with a fire extinguisher.

CCTV footage captured Bartlett at the town's Tesco petrol station buying three litres of petrol in a container. He went home and got a piece of cloth and created a device.

Sgt Leo Randles agreed with prosecutor Tom Rice, Bartlett had been angry at his arrest.

He reacted badly to gardai and five years previously had broken a window of the garda station again after being released.

While the act was dangerous, little damage had been done and €300 in compensation had been paid, the sergeant said.

Judge Donagh McDonagh said he would look favourably at community service if Bartlett signed up with the Probation Service for this immediately.

"He may well end up painting an awful lot of walls but it will be his way of giving something back to the community," he said.

Irish Independent