Defendant attacked house over drugs debt

A householder reacted quickly when a man tried to set fire to the front door because of a drugs debt.

Defendant attacked house over drugs debt

By Liam Heylin

A householder reacted quickly when a man tried to set fire to the front door because of a drugs debt.

Thomas Dinan Kenneally, aged 28, pleaded guilty at Cork District Court yesterday to a charge that, on April 24, 2014, at a house at Lissadell, Maryborough Hill, Cork, he had a lighter fuel canister intending to use it to damage property, namely the front door of the house, in a way which was likely to endanger life.

Detective Garda Aonghus Cotter said that on this date an attempt was made to set the front door of the house on fire. Fortunately, the owner of the house came out quickly and extinguished the fire.

Lighter fluid was recovered at the scene.

Detective Garda Cotter said the defendant sprayed the fuel on the door, then lit a rag and threw it at it.

“The injured party saw the flame and went outside and extinguished it,” he said. “The defendant was arrested in July. He co-operated and was remorseful.”

The background to the attempted arson was that someone previously living at the house had generated a drugs debt.

Defence solicitor Diane Hallahan said the debt was not owed to Kenneally. In fact, the defendant had a drugs debt of his own at that time and he was given the option of having his debt written off if he carried out this attack.

Ms Hallahan asked the detective if he considered that the accused was a very vulnerable person at the time of the offence. The detective agreed and said that another person, not before the court, had taken advantage of him.

She said the accused had rehabilitated significantly since committing his offence in April 2014.

Judge Olann Kelleher said the accused could do 200 hours of community service instead of going to jail for six months.

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