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Boy (13) accused of arson after house gutted by fire

The fire happened on Wellington Street in Dublin last November.

A 13-YEAR-OLD boy is facing trial accused of arson and risking people’s lives after a house in Dublin was gutted by fire last year.

Gardaí in Mountjoy Station commenced an investigation into a blaze at Wellington Street, D7 on 27 November last which was attended by two units from Dublin Fire Brigade.

The boy, who cannot be named because he is a minor, appeared at Dublin Children’s Court charged with arson and endangerment of life by engaging in conduct which created substantial risk of death or serious harm to another.

The Director of Public Prosecutions has recommended that the boy should face trial on indictment in the circuit court, which has tougher sentencing powers.

Defence solicitor Eoghan O’Sullivan told Judge Paul Kelly, however, that he intended to make submissions pleading for the case to remain in the Children’s Court, under Section 75 of the Children Act.

Under that part of the legislation, the juvenile court has discretion to accept jurisdiction for a trial involving a minor facing serious charges by taking into account their age and level of maturity as well as other factors deemed relevant.

There was no objection to bail once the teenager agreed to abide by conditions sought by gardai, to stay away from the scene of the fire and the occupants of the house.

The boy, who was accompanied to court by his mother, was ordered to appear again later this month for a preliminary hearing to determine his trial venue.

Disclosure of prosecution evidence was ordered and legal aid was granted.