Man set fire to mother’s home in Limerick after row over cash

David Hurley

Reporter:

David Hurley

The fire was started in the hallway

The fire was started in the hallway

A YOUNG man who set fire to his mother’s council-owned home in Limerick after she refused to give him money has been jailed for three years.

Lorenzo Morey, 20, of no fixed abode, had pleaded guilty to a charge of arson relating to an incident at Cloncanne Road, Ballynanty, Limerick on January 2, 2018.

During a sentencing hearing, Garda Conor Cronin told Limerick Circuit Court the alarm was raised at around 10am and that when he arrived a short time later, a large crowd had outside the house.

The defendant, he said, was agitated and had a tea-towel wrapped around his hand.

It was subsequently established that Mr Morey had a row with his mother earlier in the morning after she refused to allow him take money from her handbag.

The defendant, he said,  then smashed a number of windows before setting fire to rubbish in the hallway of the house.

The fire quickly spread to other parts of the house and Limerick City and County Council estimates the total damage caused was between €50,000 and €75,000.

Judge Tom O’Donnell was told the property is not habitable and that Mr Morey’s mother and other members of his family have since been re-housed elsewhere by the local authority.

Garda Cronin told John O’Sullivan BL, prosecuting, the defendant initially denied starting the fire but later made full admissions.

Barrister Pat Whyms said his client had consumed an “enormous amount of tablets” the previous night and was still under the influence “of something” when he started the fire.

Imposing sentence, Judge O’Donnell said the deliberate nature of the offence and the amount of damage caused were aggravating factors as was the fact that Mr Morey was on bail in relation to separate matters at the time.

He noted his drug addiction issues and the fact that he has reconciled with his mother since the incident.

He imposed a three year prison sentence which he directed should be served consecutively to a two-and-a-half year sentence which Mr Morey is currently serving in relation to a robbery offence.