A woman who set her rented accommodation alight causing more than €39,000 damage later admitted in  phone calls to 999 emergency operators that she had started the fire deliberately.

As a result of the arson attack at Altamont Street, Westport, on May 13, 2015, Valerie Reid, with an address at Dyson Street, Blackburn, Lancashire, appeared before Judge Rory MacCabe for sentencing at Castlebar Circuit Criminal Court yesterday.

Ms. Reid, who has been in custody since November last, was sentenced to four years in prison with the final two years of the sentence suspended for five years.

Imposing the prison sentence, the judge said he noted the reluctance of the accused to engage with the probation service.

The judge also said there was no evidence of any effort by Ms. Reid to engage with the addiction services.

Outlining the facts of the case, Garda Denis Egan said that when gardaí investigated the fire at the property where the accused was a tenant they found evidence that fires had been lit in three places.

He said that, following the oubreak,  Ms. Reid had rang 999 on two occasions and admitted lighting the fires.

She was brought back to Ireland last year on foot of a European arrest warrant, and she pleaded guilty at the Circuit Court in November to a single count of arson.




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