West Cumbrian mum in court on arson charge
Published at 16:00, Thursday, 19 July 2012
A WORKINGTON mum has appeared in court accused of setting fire to her home while her two-year-old daughter was inside.
Deborah Ann Donald, 34, of Wastwater Avenue, appeared at West Cumbria Magistrates Court today and also faced a charge of perverting the course of justice.
The court heard that she was accused of setting fire to the front door of her home, intending to endanger life or being reckless as to whether life would be endangered.
Prosecutor Jane Mackrill alleged that Donald then perverted the course of justice by falsely naming two other women she said she believed were responsible for the fire.
Donald, wearing a yellow top and cream jacket, spoke only to confirm her name, address and date of birth and that she understood the proceedings during the half-hour hearing.
She appeared on the brink of tears throughout.
The charges against her came after firefighters were called to the semi-detached house, owned by Derwent & Solway Housing Association, to a fire at the front door just after 4am on Tuesday.
David Purcell, defending, told the court that Donald and her daughter had escaped from the house via the front room window.
The pair were taken to the West Cumberland Hospital in Whitehaven to check for smoke inhalation and later discharged.
Police and fire investigators spent hours at the house hunting for clues and issued an urgent appeal for witnesses.
Two women, aged 26 and 35, who were arrested in connection with the suspected arson, have since been released
Donald was not asked to enter pleas during yesterday’s hearing and her case was sent to Carlisle Crown Court, where she is due to appear on August 6.
Donald wept as she was remanded in custody.
Teresa Longley, chairman of the bench, told Donald: “If you are convicted you would almost inevitably face a period of imprisonment.”
Published by http://www.timesandstar.co.uk
- Don't forget to pick up this week's Times & Star!
- You look like that man off the TV!
- Farmer keeps 260ft turbine bid in motion with appeal (3 comments)
- Workington arson victim fears mistaken identity
- June 11 launch for West Cumbria flood defences
- Workington store closing (1 comment)
- Fish factory axes 40 jobs after loss of key contract (1 comment)
- Wedding guest left for dead after Workington hit and run
- Obituary - Richard Wimpress, of Cockermouth
- Herdwick given EU protected status
- Angry Cumbrian MP and council leader write to David Cameron about Sellafield deal (6 comments)
- Cumbrian hospital operating theatres to stay shut after alert
- Crash blocks busy Cumbrian road junction
- Benefits fraud woman sentenced by Cumbrian court
- Plan to build 50 homes in West Cumbrian village (5 comments)