Daniel Donoghue, 31, used hand sanitiser as an accelerant to set the curtains of his B&B room in Bangor, North Wales, alight after his landlady refused to do his laundry
Image: NORTH WALES POLICE)
A man set fire to the curtains of his B&B bedroom before headbutting the landlady because she wouldn’t do his laundry.
Daniel Donoghue, 31, used hand sanitiser to fuel the fire but tried to pin it on someone else when his landlady burst in to find him throwing water on the blazing curtains at the Swn y Nany Hotel on Caernarfon Road, Bangor.
Donoghue fled but not before headbutting landlady Julia Harding on his way out, causing her immediate and “intense pain”, North Wales Live reports.
A judge today jailed the 31-year-old for two years for arson.
Prosecutor Nicholas Williams told Caernafon Crown Court how Donoghue was on license when the incident happened on April 27 this year.
Mr Williams said at 8.30pm a witness recalled seeing Donoghue outside the B&B “stumbling around”, shouting at the landlady and demanding she do his washing.
Ms Harding refused and told Donoghue to stop shouting because he would wake her other guests, North Wales Online reports.
Donoghue retired to his hotel room. Shortly after Ms Harding saw smoke pouring out of his bedroom.
She used a master key to gain access to the locked room and found the 31-year-old “throwing water on the fire”.
The defendant tried pinning the blame on someone else and told her an unknown person set the curtains alight.
Ms Harding didn’t believe him as Donoghue was the only person in the room, which was locked when she tried to get in. She called 999.
Donoghue tried to make an escape but first headbutted the proprietor, causing “instant pain”, she said.
He later returned to the hotel before police arrived and took him into custody.
Burns caused severe damage to the window and the curtains were totally destroyed.
A forensics team found 70 per cent alcohol hand sanitiser had been used as an accelerant.
In a police interview, Donoghue said: “I can’t lie. It was revenge because she (Ms Harding) p***** me off. She called me a psychopath and other names.
“I didn’t want to hurt anybody. I just wanted to burn her curtains.”
Ms Harding wrote in a victim impact statement she had wanted to support Donoghue, who was out on license, but that his “rapidly deteriorating” behaviour left her feeling “saddened and disappointed”.
She added: “I fed him late at night when he said he was hungry. Setting fire to the curtains felt like a personal insult. It has left me feeling saddened and disappointed that he has not changed for the better.”
Donoghue’s defence lawyer said he suffers from ADHD and Asperger’s Syndrome.
Barrister Brian Treadwell said Donoghue’s brain was injured in a road accident when he was just three years old. He also witnessed domestic violence as a youngster, which has triggered post traumatic stress disorder.
He was also taking valium (diazepam) from an illicit supply, Mr Treadwell added.
Donoghue’s attempt to pin the blame elsewhere after being found by the landlady was “an almost childlike lie”, he added.
Her Honour Judge Nicola Jones presiding told the 31-year-old he acted “impulsively and in temper and anger” and that he failed to consider the danger he put other guests in.
She said: “You did not intend to cause any harm but you were reckless.”
Judge Jones handed down a two-year custodial sentence for arson.
There were no additional charges brought for Ms Harding’s assault, or for the criminal damage to the curtains and window.
Donoghue is subject to a five-year restraining order, barring him from approaching or contacting Ms Harding. He is also forbidden to be within the boundaries of the B&B.
He was also made to pay a £156 surcharge.