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Scarface's trial is dropped over no-show witness

The Dublin man who accidentally blew himself up lighting a cigarette has had a criminal damage charge against him struck out after a witness failed to appear in court.

'Scarface' Tommy Dumbrell (27) had denied damaging the tyre of a van in an incident last year, weeks before the explosion that maimed him.

Judge Dermot Dempsey struck the case out after the prosecuting garda said the owner of the vehicle was out of the country.

Dumbrell -- a brother of killers Warren and Jeffrey -- had been accused of damaging the front left tyre of a blue Hiace van at Spa Road, inchicore on April 26 last year. He had denied the charge, which was unrelated to his accident.

The prosecuting garda in the criminal damage case told Dublin District Court the owner of the Hiace was not present.

"I was speaking to his mother this morning and she says he is in Holland," the garda said, requesting a short adjournment.

Dumbrell's lawyer asked the judge to strike the matter out. He said it had already been marked peremptory against the State -- meaning it could not be adjourned again.

The court heard the gardai would not be precluded from bringing another prosecution.

Dumbrell did not address the court during the brief hearing.

Dumbrell sparked a major emergency operation at his home in June last year after he set off an explosion in his own bedroom. It happened after he had been sniffing aerosol fumes and attempting to light his cigarette. He was rushed to hospital and left with horrific injuries.

Emergency services rushed to the scene on Emmet Road in Inchicore when the blast happened. The resulting fire spread to the hallway and stairway and Dumbrell ended up in intensive care fighting for his life.

His parents, who were also in the house, escaped uninjured.

His injuries were so extensive gardai were initially unable to interview him.

His brothers Warren (35) and Jeffrey (29) were convicted in 2008 of the murder of a man, Christopher Cawley, in Inchicore.

aphelan@herald.ie


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