Man banned from Co Tyrone pub allegedly returned and set fire to car, court hears
A MAN banned from a Co Tyrone pub allegedly returned and set fire to a car parked outside while a woman slept upstairs, the High Court heard today.
Martin Mulholland is accused of destroying the Volkswagen Jetta and causing £20,000 of damage to a nearby telephone exchange box.
The 45-year-old, of Woodview Crescent in Trillick, faces charges of arson endangering life and breaching a restraining order over the incident in the village earlier this month.
Firefighters were called to the blaze outside Packies Bar on Main Street in the early hours of June 3.
The flames had also spread to the doors of the family-run pub's storeroom where gas cylinders were kept, prosecutors said.
A woman had been sleeping above the premises but was unharmed.
CCTV footage showed a man in a balaclava and gloves approach the car and pour liquid over the doors, bonnet and windscreen before setting it alight and fleeing, the court was told.
A Crown lawyer said a footprint trail led officers to a bag in a field containing gloves, a cap and three glass bottles containing rags - all soaked in flammable liquid.
Police went to Mulholland's home where they detected a strong smell of petrol, a jerry can and clothes mid-cycle in the washing machine.
He claimed the smell was due to landscaping work and garden strimmer kept in his kitchen.
Mulholland is currently barred from entering the pub under the terms of a restraining order.
But the prosecution alleged that CCTV footage showed him entering and leaving the bar twice on the evening before the arson attack.
Mr Justice McCloskey was told the Volkswagen was written off in the incident, at a cost of £5,000.
"The £20,000 relates to the adjacent BT exchange box which was extensively damaged," the Crown lawyer added.
Defence counsel confirmed Mulholland denies the charges or being at the bar that night.
"He has given an alibi about his whereabouts, saying he was at Springhill Golf Club," his barrister said.
Refusing bail, Mr Justice McCloskey ruled there was currently no satisfactory address available.