Suspect appears in court over arson attack on home
A man has appeared in court accused of putting a couple's lives in danger by an arson attack at their west Belfast home.
Tony Ferguson (25) was allegedly involved in setting fire to two cars outside the Coolnasilla Park West property in the early hours of April 29. A husband and wife who were inside the house at the time escaped injury.
But the pair, both aged in their 50s, had to be treated for smoke inhalation. Ferguson, a courier from Glantane Drive in the city, is charged with arson with intent to endanger the couple's lives. He is alleged to have caused damage to a Volkswagen Passat, a Ford Transit and the front door of the house through the attack.
Standing in the dock at Belfast Magistrates' Court, a further charge of attempting to pervert the course of justice by providing a false statement was also put to Ferguson. A second man, 26-year-old chef Stephen Austin, is also accused of the same arson offence.
Austin, from Clifton Park in the city, did not appear in court because he has been admitted to an addiction treatment facilities.
However, a PSNI officer said he believed he could connect both defendants to the charges.
Defence counsel Michael Boyd, for Ferguson, put no questions to the policeman. His client was released on continuing bail to return to court on August 4.
The judge said Austin would be excused from attending if he was still undergoing treatment and medical evidence was provided.