Donegal based asylum seeker admits Dublin arson threat

Sentencing has been deferred in the case of a Donegal Town based Libyan teenager who threatened to follow an employee of the Refugee Reception and Integration Office home and burn down her house after his request for accommodation was refused.

Hisham Ali Saad became frustrated and overwhelmed at the asylum system following his arrival in Ireland alone a year ago, after his brother was shot dead during an anti-Gadaffi protest in Libya.

Saad, with an address at Cliffview Accommodation Centre, Coast Road, Donegal, pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to making a threat to kill or cause serious harm at the Office of the Refugee Applications Commissioner, Lower Mount Street on July 15, 2008.

Garda Stephen Nolan told the court that Saad went the Reception and Integration Office seeking accommodation. A female staff member looked up his case and found he had been previously given accommodation by the office, which he had left for behavioural reasons.

Whenhe woman told him he would not be given further accommodation, he became angry and left the centre, before returning on a number of occasions.

The next day, a male colleague of the woman told her Saad had threatened in his presence to follow her home, and burn down her house with her inside it.

Saad, who has four previous convictions for theft, was arrested, made full admissions and expressed remorse.

Defence counsel, Ms Caragh Cunniffe said she “could not disagree” with Judge Hunt, when he remarked that Saad was partly responsible for being put out of his previous accommodation.

She said he was “frustrated” at the asylum seeker process, and found it difficult being moved around the country to different accommodations. She added he felt “emotionally and physically alone” after being uprooted from Dublin.