Limerick teenager is jailed following arson attack

David Hurley

Reporter:

David Hurley

Limerick Courthouse, Merchant's Quay
A TEENAGER who set himself on fire while carrying out an arson attack last year has been sentenced to three years in prison.

A TEENAGER who set himself on fire while carrying out an arson attack last year has been sentenced to three years in prison.

Gerard Gammell, 19, of Craeval Park, Moyross pleaded guilty to throwing a petrol bomb through the window of a house at Castle Park, Moyross shortly after midnight on November 6, 2010.

During a sentencing hearing, Detective Garda Tommy Griffin, Mayorstone, said the occupant of the house - who is aged in her 60s - was watching television at her home when the incident happened.

He said the petrol bomb was thrown in through the sitting room window and that the curtains caught fire. The fire did not spread beyond the window and only minor damage was caused to the house.

In a victim impact statement, the woman said the incident has had a “devastating effect” on her and her family and she said it was particularly distressing because photos of her deceased parents had been destroyed in the fire.

The court was told Gammell had carried out the attack in order to repay a drugs debt.

Imposing sentence, Judge Carroll Moran said arson is one of the most serious crimes on the calender of offences and he said he was lucky that the owner of the house was not injured or killed.

He imposed a five year sentence, suspending the final two years.