case adjourned | 

Man is accused of setting fire to his mother’s house after threatening to burn it down

Judge Gerard Jones ruled the allegations were too serious to be dealt with at district court level and adjourned the case for the preparation of a book of evidence.

Brian Ferns leaving Blanchardstown District Court

Andrew PhelanIndependent.ie

A MAN set fire to his mother’s home while she was out for the evening, after earlier threatening to burn the house down, it is alleged.

Brian Ferns (38) is facing trial on an arson charge after a court heard he was accused of causing “extensive damage” to the house.

Judge Gerard Jones ruled the allegations were too serious to be dealt with at district court level and adjourned the case for the preparation of a book of evidence.

Mr Ferns is charged with arson at James Connolly Park, Clondalkin.

Garda Sergeant Maria Callaghan told Blanchardstown District Court the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) consented to summary disposal of the case there, subject to the issue of jurisdiction being considered.

Outlining the prosecution’s case, she said gardaí attended the scene of an incident at James Connolly Park on April 3, 2020.

The house was on fire and the accused was allegedly at the scene in a distressed state.

The alleged victim said Mr Ferns had threatened that he was going to burn her house down.

A file was prepared for the DPP and the accused was charged.

The accused’s mother was the occupant of the house, but she was not inside at the time the fire started, having left the house for the evening, Sgt Callaghan said.

Judge Jones asked if it was known how much damage was allegedly caused to the house.

“Are we talking about €5,000 damage?” he asked, to which Sgt Callaghan replied: “No, we’re talking about a hell of a lot more.”

Judge Jones said he was refusing jurisdiction, saying the case would have to be dealt with in the circuit court.

He remanded the accused on continuing bail to appear in court again in October.

He granted free legal aid following an application by defence solicitor Wayne Kenny, who said Mr Ferns was not working.


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