Woman, 21, guilty of toilet arson attack
6:20pm Wednesday 7th May 2014 in News
A 21-YEAR-OLD woman was found guilty of arson at Haverfordwest Magistrates’ Court today (Wednesday).
Amy Karen McGee, 21, of Bro Dawel, Solva, pleaded not guilty to starting a fire at the Castle Lake car park toilets on September 22.
The fire, which was started at about 8pm, caused £250-worth of damage to a toilet roll holder, bin and hand dryer.
McGee was found guilty of ripping a toilet roll holder off the wall and setting toilet paper on fire in the women’s toilets, and scorching a hand dryer in the men’s toilets.
Prosecutor Vaughan Pritchard-Jones told the court several people, including McGee herself, had dialled 999 after seeing smoke coming from the premises. Magistrates were played a recording of her 999 call.
The court heard the defendant’s fingerprints were found on the toilet roll holder - something McGee told officers was due to her using the toilets daily, including that morning.
But Pembrokeshire County Council worker Michael Picton told magistrates he had cleaned the toilets – including the toilet roll holder with furniture polish - just before 7am and again at about 1.30pm on the day of the fire. McGee then said she had used the toilets at about 4pm.
Substance misuse worker Hannah Barnes also had evidence about a conversation between McGee and her friend, Amy Rees, at Eastwood Park Prison.
The pair had broken into a car at Castle Lake car park on the evening in question, but Rees was angered when she received a letter about having to come to court for arson.
Ms Barnes said McGee, attempting to pacify Rees, said: “I know, I know, I did it.”
Chair of the magistrates bench, Gaynor Ford, said McGee had been “inconsistent”.
She added: “We do believe beyond reasonable doubt that you committed the offence of arson and you are found guilty of this offence.”
Sentencing was adjourned until May 28 while a pre-sentence report is prepared.
McGee was warned “custody had to be considered”. She was granted unconditional bail.