Woman caused £2,000 damage at Gransha Hospital

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A woman who caused over £2,000 worth of damage in Gransha Hospital has been ordered to pay compensation.

Finnuala Gallagher, of College Terrace, pleaded guilty to arson on December 29, last year.

Derry Magistrate’s Court heard the 48-year-old caused £2,000 worth of damage to ceilings and wall panels after setting a fire.

The defendant was not in court for the brief hearing.

District Judge Barney McElholm adjourned sentencing to allow Gallagher to pay comepnsation.

He warned that if the compensation was not paid on a weekly basis ‘she will face a custodial sentence’.

The judge had asked if solicitors ‘routinely tell their clients that if they cause damage or cause someone to suffer a loss then compensation should be paid’.

He said his views on this matter were ‘fairly well known by now’ and it did not ‘look the best’ that Gallagher had made no effort in the last eleven months to pay for the damage.

The judge added: ‘This should be at the forefront of everyone’s mind. Victims must be recompensed’.

Defence solicitor Paddy MacDermott said his client wass a woman with a number of difficulties and he had made representations to the Public Prosecution Service to ‘take a certain view of the case’.

He added the issue of compensation was only raised earlier this week.

The judge adjourned the case until January 29.