Man accused of risking garda’s life in Gatso van fire

A BOOK of evidence was served on a man accused of endangering the life of a garda by setting fire to the Gatso van in which he was sitting.

Detective Garda Maurice Leahy served the prosecution documents on Garett Hill, 30, and on two counts related to the alleged incident in the Blarney area in August 2009. Hill is charged with committing an arson, whereby, without lawful excuse, he caused damage by fire to a 08-registered Garda Gatso van with the intention of causing such damage or being reckless as to whether the damage was caused.

Secondly, Hill is charged with intentionally or recklessly engaging in conduct, namely setting fire to the van occupied by Garda Paul Hooley, which created a substantial risk of death or serious injury.

Gatso vans are used by gardaí to monitor the speed of vehicles on the country’s roads. The alleged incident occurred on August 27, 2009, at Booleypatrick, Tower, Blarney, Co Cork.

Inspector Gary McPolin applied to have the case against Hill returned to the county list of the next sessions of Cork Circuit Criminal Court on May 10.

Judge Con O’Leary returned the case from Cork District Court to the Circuit Criminal Court and gave the defendant legal warning about notices that must be given to the state about any witness who might be called in an alibi defence.

After the callover of the county list, the case will be listed for trial by judge and jury or else it will be adjourned until later in the year.

Hill was remanded on continuing bail on condition that he reside at 26 The View, Gleann na Rí, Tower, Blarney, sign daily at Gurranabraher garda station, comply with a curfew to be at home between 9pm and 7am every night, and not apply for travel documents.

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