Bail granted to man accused of arson

Court image
Court image

A man accused of an arson attack at a block of flats was granted bail when he appeared before Londonderry Magistrates’ Court.

The court heard that Joseph Gallagher (23), of Glenvale Road, who is charged with arson endangering life on June 5, set fire to a top flat at Bayview Terrace, while four children under the age of 16 were in the flat below.

The Fire Service to tended to the blaze, found the fire had been deliberate and entry had been forced to the flat to start the fire, which caused extensive damage caused.

Gallagher handed himself into police two days after the incident.

During police interview he said he had little memory of what happened but was adamant that he used matches to set the fire.

Opposing bail, an investigating officer told the court police believed Gallagher would commit further offences, stressing that the defendant had issues with alcohol and substance misuse.

Defence solicitor Leonie Keegan said her client wished to address these issues if he was granted bail.

District Judge Barney McElholm granted bail and warned the defendant if he breached the bail conditions he could expect to be sent straight back into custody.

Gallagher was released on his own bail of £750 and banned from entering Bayview Terrace.

He was also banned from consuming alcohol and non-prescribed drugs.

He will appear in court again on October 29.