Saturday 20 January 2018

He wants to kill me, woman tells judge as man charged with arson

Tom Tuite

A YOUNG woman wept in court as she told a judge that she feared she would be killed by her ex-boyfriend, who has been charged with torching her home last weekend.

On Sunday night, gardai used a ladder to rescue several occupants when a house on the South Circular Road, Dublin went up in flames. Dublin Fire Brigade rushed to the scene and extinguished the blaze at the property, which is divided into apartments.

Meanwhile, Sintia Teika (24), 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 Street garda station for questioning.

Yesterday morning, he was brought before Dublin District Court, charged with arson in connection with the incident.

Garda Colleen Doherty objected to bail.

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 that he asked her: "Are you having sex with everybody?" The court also heard claims another text said: "I will be waiting for you."

The court heard 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 that he arrived at the house on South Circular Road with a petrol canister in his hand, gained entry and started the fire while other witnesses were present.

Garda Doherty said Ms Teika "fears for her life".

The court heard that Mr Li had 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 the 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. However, Judge Blake refused bail and remanded Mr Li in custody.

The accused has not yet indicated how he will plead to the charges. His next hearing will take place at Cloverhill District Court tomorrow.

Irish Independent

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