Set fire to room in Gransha

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A woman accused of setting fire to a room in Gransha Hospital has been released on bail.

Teresa Duffy, of Linkside Park, Strabane, is charged with arson endangering life on August 19.

Derry Magistrates Court heard that the 29-year-old is a woman with ‘obvious mental health issues’ and had signed herself into Gransha Hospital on a voluntary basis.

It is alleged Duffy set fire to her room, damaging doors and a bin.

The court was told there were 14 other patients in the ward at the time and four staff members.

Duffy was arrested because of the ‘risk she posed not only to herself but to the other patients and staff’.

During police interview, the defendant allegedly told police she set the fire to harm herself and did not have any intent to harm anyone else.

She was remanded in custody following her appearance in court and remained in custody until the start of this month.

The court was told she was then released to live with her father, however, two days later she attempted to harm herself again and the bail address was withdrawn.

Opposing bail, an investigating officer said police have concerns about the ‘risk of harm she poses to herself and other members of the public’.

He said police don’t believe this risk can be can be ‘adequately supervised’ at the proposed bail address by Duffy’s father.

Defence solicitor, Paddy MacDermott, told the court Duffy suffers from ‘very serious problems’ and ‘prison isn’t really the best solution’.

He said the last time his client was on bail she found herself in a ‘very desperate situation’ but does not want to breach her father’s trust again.

However, he added the 29-year-old is now ‘feeling a lot better and is on medication. She intends to keep taking this medication no matter what’.

The solicitor told the court the risk Duffy poses to herself is ‘not a reason for opposing bail as that is always going to exist.’

District Judge Peter King granted bail but said it was a ‘finely judged position.’

Duffy was released on her own bail of £500 to reside with her father.

She must abide by a curfew, be electronically tagged and make contact with her community psychiatric nurse within 48 hours.

Duffy will appear in court again on October 1st.