Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 16 April 2014

‘Alchemist’ arsonist tried to turn faeces into gold

A man (30) who tried to turn his own faeces into gold by putting it on an electric heater has been jailed for three months.

Paul Moran’s bizarre experiment caused around £3,000 worth of damage to his Housing Executive home in a block of flats at Derrin Park in Enniskillen in July.

Upon his release he will spend a further 12 months on licence.

Moran admitted arson and endangering the lives of others.

His Honour Judge McFarland told him: “Rather bizarrely you were attempting to make gold from human faeces and waste products.

“It was an interesting experiment to fulfil the alchemist’s dream, but wasn’t going to succeed.”

While outlining the circumstances of the case at Enniskillen Magistrates Court, prosecuting counsel Robin Steer, told those present that at 7.12pm on July 24 last year the Fire Brigade was called to Moran’s flat at Derrin Park in Cornagrade, Enniskillen.

A police officer who was at the scene overheard Moran tell someone he had put “fertiliser” on a heater.

Moran’s barrister, Des Fahy, agreed that the general circumstances of the case were bizarre. He said Moran was a man of considerable intellectual ability but there was a clear problem over the years relating to drug abuse.

The judge noted that Moran was now on anti-psychotic medication and agreed with the findings of a pre-sentence report, which said he did not pose “a significant risk of serious harm”.

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