Rang 999 threatening to burn down flat

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A Derry woman rang 999 and told police she had poured petrol around her flat and was going to set it on fire, the local magistrate’s court has heard.

Jackie Kinnaird was found on her bed with a can of lighter fluid in her hand when the emergency services made their way to her property in Clooney Terrace.

Flats nearby had to be evacuated and the Fire Service called,

Kinnaird (50), who now lives in Foyle Road, was taken to Strand Road Police Station where she admitted making the call and intending to set fire to the property. Police considered her to be a vulnerable individual.

A solicitor for the defence told the court that Kinnaird’s life partner had died three months previous to this offence taking place on September 23rd, 2015.

He asked the court to take into account the fact that the last time his client was in court was 20 years ago, and that she was unlikely to re-offend.

District Judge Barney McElholm told the court that Ms. Kinnaird had put a lot of people to a lot of expense and inconvenience by her actions.

“A block of flats had to be evacuated and the services of the police and fire service deferred. I would have preferred to have had a psychological evaluation and plan of treatment in court because Ms. Kinnaird will continue to drink.”

Kinnaird was sentenced to four months in prison suspended for two years.

“If you do anything like this again you will be going to prison,” Mr. McElholm told her. A visibly upset Kinnaird told the court: “I apologise.”