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Dublin: 3 °C Saturday 14 December, 2019

Man who threw burning pint glass of petrol into neighbour's garden jailed for 16 months

The 23-year-old spent four days in hospital after sustaining burns after striking a match to the glass full of petrol.

The court heard the man appeared at an upstairs window in his house with a pint glass “filled to the brim” and a big box of matches.
The court heard the man appeared at an upstairs window in his house with a pint glass “filled to the brim” and a big box of matches.
Image: Shutterstock/Piotr Wytrazek

A DUBLIN MAN who threw a burning pint glass of petrol into a neighbour’s garden after taking offence about his treatment at a barbecue has been jailed for 16 months.

The court heard Dylan O’Flanagan (23) spent four days in hospital for burns he received just after he struck a match to the full glass of petrol.

Garda Ross Rowan revealed O’Flanagan had turned up drunk to the barbecue and left “taking offence” when he was told there wasn’t enough food for him.

He returned home, pitched a bottle and can of alcohol over the fence into the injured party’s garden and could be heard threatening to beat people up. He next appeared at an upstairs window in his house with a pint glass “filled to the brim” and a big box of matches.

O’Flanagan, of Chapel Farm Row, Lusk, pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to damaging by fire wooden decking at his neighbour’s house on June 3, 2016.

His previous convictions include public order offences, thefts and criminal damage, all dealt with at District Court level.

‘Already locked’

Garda Rowan told Tony McGillicuddy BL, prosecuting, that O’Flanagan had been drinking earlier with his neighbour and had asked to come to the barbecue.

He was described as “already locked” when he showed up with a bag of alcohol and was seen asking to use other people’s phones to go on Facebook.

When he left, he told the neighbour that he didn’t feel welcome and called the other guests “assholes”.

The court heard that one woman had to jump into the kitchen after O’Flanagan threw the pint glass.

The neighbour’s partner later told gardaí she was “terrified” when she saw the decking go up in flames, as her 11-month-old daughter had been sleeping upstairs in the house at the time.

Other people described hearing a loud commotion coming from the room in which O’Flanagan had been standing, like he was rolling on the floor.

About 15 minutes later, O’Flanagan came back around to his neighbour’s house to bang at the door and blame him for the burn on his hand.

Garda Rowan said he and colleagues didn’t realise O’Flanagan had burned himself until he was arrested and brought to the garda station. O’Flanagan was then taken by ambulance to hospital, where he remained for four day.

‘Genuinely sorry’

His neighbour described how he avoids going into his back garden when O’Flanagan is about and is afraid to tell him to be quiet when he and his friends have loud parties next door.

Garda Rowan agreed with Sandra Frayne BL, defending, that her client was intoxicated on the night and was the only person injured as a result of his own actions.

Ms Frayne submitted to Judge Martin Nolan that O’Flanagan had very limited intellectual capabilities, but accepted what he did was completely wrong and was genuinely sorry.

Judge Nolan described O’Flanagan’s behaviour as “petulant and aggressive”. He accepted O’Flanagan had cognitive difficulties but said there was no doubt he knew his actions were wrong.

He imposed a two and a half year sentence with the final 14 months suspended for 14 months. He further ordered that O’Flanagan undergo probation service supervision for that period.

Read: Woman wrongly put in Mountjoy was told ‘if you keep being dishonest I can keep you in longer’>

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Aoife Nic Ardghail

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