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Man accused of torching garda's car and threatening to burn down station, court hears

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(stock photo)

(stock photo)

(stock photo)

A DUBLIN man set a garda’s private car alight after dousing it in petrol in an unprovoked arson attack while it was parked outside a city station, it is alleged.

Keith Riggs (36) is also accused of threatening to burn down the whole Garda station after he was arrested days later.

Judge Miriam Walsh refused to grant him bail and remanded him in custody when he appeared in Dublin District Court.

Mr Riggs, with an address at Deanstown Avenue in Finglas, is charged with one count of arson and another of threatening to cause criminal damage.

CCTV Garda Garret Cooke said the accused made no reply to one charge after caution. To another, he said: “I don’t know what you are on about.”

Objecting to bail, he said a garda’s private vehicle was set alight while it was parked outside the gates of the Bridewell station at Church Street last August 13.

“Good quality” CCTV footage showed a man approaching the vehicle from the side and pouring a liquid which then ignited, causing serious damage to it, the garda said.

The value of the damage was around €4,000.

Other CCTV would show the route taken by the accused, whose description “matched” the man who carried out the attack, the garda alleged.

It was claimed he was staying at an apartment at Richmond Square, North Brunswick Street.

After Mr Riggs was arrested and detained on September 3, the garda said he commented: “You have caused me enough hassle. “I have burned one car.

“I will burn the whole station down. I put my life on it.”

Gda Cooke said he believed if granted bail the accused would interfere with witnesses.

In cross-examination, the garda said the alleged threat to burn down the Bridewell was made directly to him.

He accepted it was not said in interview when the accused made no admissions and only said “no comment”.

There was no suggestion the remark about burning one car was in reference to this case, the garda agreed.

The defence solicitor said the clothing seen on CCTV was “rather common”.

He also said that Mr Riggs was just not capable of carrying out the alleged threats and was “not physically robust”.

Judge Walsh refused bail and remanded the accused in custody, to appear before Cloverhill District Court on September 11.

Herald