Woman is accused of hospital arson

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A 29-year-old woman has appeared in court accused of arson in Gransha Hospital.

Teresa Duffy, of Linkside Road, Strabane, is charged with arson with intent between August 19 and 20.

It is alleged a bin and internal door owned by the NHS were destroyed in the fire.

An investigating officer told Derry Magistrates Court she believed she could Duffy to the charge.

Defence solicitor Paddy MacDermott said there would be no application for bail as there is no address available to his client.

He said she is a woman with ‘difficulties’ and was assessed by two forensic medical officers and a psychiatrist whilst in police custody.

The solicitor said they deemed Duffy ‘fit to attend court’.

Mr MacDermott said the 29-year-old will also need to be assessed by the prison authorities ‘to see if she is fit to be in the prison system’.

District Judge Barney McElholm said ‘the late Mrs Thatcher decided no one was mentally ill and closed suitable accommodation for them, which is quite frankly ridiculous’.

He said that in England and Wales a defendant with mental health difficulties could be remanded to a mental health facility.

However, the judge said the legislation in Northern Ireland does not allow for this.

Duffy was remanded in custody to appear in court again via videolink on September 3.