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'I feared ex burning me alive in my own home'

A YOUNG woman wept in court yesterday as she told a judge that she feared she would be killed by her ex-boyfriend, who has been charged with torching her home last weekend.

On Sunday night, gardai used a ladder to rescue several occupants when a house on the South Circular Road, in Dublin went up in flames.

Sintia Teika (24), from Latvia, was taken to St James's hospital for treatment for minor burns.


The following day, father-of-one Vladimirs Li (29), originally from Latvia but with an address at Leinster Road, in Rathmines, Dublin, was detained at Kevin Street Garda Station for questioning.

Yesterday morning, he was brought before Dublin District Court charged with arson in connection with the incident.

Garda Colleen Doherty told Judge Victor Blake that Li was charged yesterday morning and when cautioned made no reply.

The officer told Judge Blake that in the days leading up the fire, Li allegedly sent threatening and abusive text messages to Ms Teika, his ex-girlfriend.

It was alleged he called her a "f***ing bitch" in one message, and in another asked: "Are you having sex with everybody". The court also heard claims another text message to her said: "I will be waiting for you."

The court heard that directions from the DPP have to be obtained and it would be alleged that on the date of the incident, Li was captured on CCTV going to a filling station in Rathmines. Judge Blake heard it would also be claimed he arrived at the house on South Circular Road with a petrol canister in his hand, gained entry and started the fire while other witnesses were present.

Gda Doherty said Ms Teika "fears for her life".

Ms Teika, whose hands were bandaged, got into the witness box and broke down as she told the judge "he wants to kill me".

Judge Blake refused bail and remanded the 29-year-old, who has not yet indicated how he will plead to the charges, in custody.

His next hearing will take place at Cloverhill District Court tomorrow.