Man in fatal housefire case fails to appear in court over Covid

April 20, 2022

A German national due to appear in court following a fatal fire in which his mother died has failed to appear in court because of Covid.

Guenter Lohse, 61, is charged with arson following a fire at a house in Doochary, Co Donegal.

A woman in her 80s died at the scene of the fire.

He was due to appear by videolink at Falcarragh District Court today.

Lohse had been charged with arson with intent to endanger life at a house in Coolvoy, Doochary, Donegal on Tuesday, April 12, 2022, under section 2 of the Criminal Damage Act.

However, solicitor Tom MacSharry said his client could not appear because of ill-health.

Garda Inspector Seamus McGonigle said that under Covid regulations the accused could not appear.

Mr MacSharry had told a previous siting of Sligo District Court that Mr Lohse had been visited by a doctor a number of times while under arrest.

He also said his client had a psychiatric evaluation.

A request that Mr Lohse get “immediate and urgent” also receive psychiatric treatment and that the defendant be placed on suicide watch in prison had also been made.

Mr MacSharry told the court that this is a “very tragic” case.

Legal aid was granted after Mr MacSharry said Mr Lohse was in effect a pensioner on a “small pension.”

The case was adjourned until May 3rd and an application for a German interpreter was granted.