Grandmother threw milk on girl to quench flames, arson trial hears

A man who is charged with an arson attack in which an eleven-year-old sustained serious burns pleaded not guilty on the first day of his Longford Circuit Court hearing.

A man who is charged with an arson attack in which an eleven-year-old sustained serious burns pleaded not guilty on the first day of his Longford Circuit Court hearing.

Edward Myers of 48 Grange Crest, Mullingar, Westmeath is charged with arson causing criminal damage and endangering the life of a young girl.

The trial before Judge Keelan Johnson commenced with Garda Technical evidence. Members of the Divisional Scene of Crimes Investigators said that the fire bomb attack started just before midnight on the 30th of September 2010 at 35 Pauric Colum Heights, Longford.

The first civilian witness Anne Joyce was the owner of the house that was the subject of the attack. The witness said that she had been a resident of the house for 36 years. During the day she had a number of visitors. By the evening two of her daughters and granddaughter, her sister and two of her grandchildren were in the house.

Ms Joyce said that she was sitting in the kitchen when they heard the sound of windows breaking and she heard one shout the name ‘Baby Boy’. She said that a petrol bomb was thrown in and that her sister’s Granddaughter, Michaela Joyce, was hit and started to burn. She said that her sister, Julie, threw milk on Michaela to quench the flame.

In her evidence Julie Ward said that she heard a lot of banging and then saw Michaela in flames. She said: “I did not know what to do, all I could think was that she was going to die. I grabbed the milk and threw it over her. I saw her skin blister and she cried for her mammy.”

Another witness Michaela Mongan told of her injuries and how she had been in hospital for a month having treatment for her injuries. Witness Margaret Joyce said that she had been in the kitchen at the time of the attack, she said that she saw the attackers, but could not see their faces as they had hooded tops covering their faces. She said that she heard then attackers shout: “You Joyces Monkey bastards.”

The trial before six men and six women is expected to last two weeks.