70 Year Old Westmeath Man Unaware House He Set Fire To Was Occupied

The offence he's pleaded guilty carries a maximum prison sentence of seven years.

A Westmeath man has claimed he did not believe there was anyone inside a property when he set fire to the front door of a house near his own home two years ago.

70 year old Michael Kincaid appeared before a sitting of Mullingar Circuit Criminal Court to be arraigned on a charge related to arson on a property at Temple Linn, Ballymore, Co Westmeath on February 5, 2020.

Kincaid of Market Hill, Ballymore, Co Westmeath pleaded guilty to the offence of intentionally or recklessly engaging in conduct which created a substantial risk of death or serious harm contrary to Section 13 of the Non-Fatal Offences Against the Person Act 1997.

The offence carries a maximum term of imprisonment of seven years.

The court heard there were a number of people inside the property at the time that Kincaid set its front door alight.

“I didn’t realise anyone was in the home,” Kincaid told Judge Keenan Johnson.

Counsel for Kincaid, Kenneth Fogarty SC, said there was nothing in his client’s past to suggest he would engage in such behaviour.

However, Mr Fogarty said Kincaid had been seeking treatment for an addiction to alcohol.

The court heard he had 21 previous convictions for offences including assault and possession of a knife.

Sentencing in the case was adjourned until a later date.

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