A pensioner who caused a house fire in which his daughter was killed has been sentenced to eleven years in jail.

Peter O’Brien, (81), with an address at St Michael’s, Beauparc, Co Meath pleaded guilty to the unlawful killing of Sinead Masterson on 16th Dec 2021 and to charges of causing criminal damage with intent to endanger life and property on May 19th 2021.

He also pleaded guilty to assault causing harm to Maureen O’Brien on the same date

O’Brien’s daughter Sinead Masterson died from her injuries at St James hospital in Dublin seven months after the blaze.

When evidence in the case was heard earlier this year the court heard how O’Brien had reacted badly to celebrations for his wifes birthday, the couple had been living separate lives under the same roof.

He entered the kitchen and threw petrol on a stove causing an inferno.#

Mrs O’Brien suffered second and third degree burns to her face hands and knees.

Judge Martina Baxter was told that Sinead Masterson’s clothes had been burned off her in the blaze and she had to be taken to St James hospital in Dublin, where, in spite of her determination to fight her injuries and to be home for Christmas, she died on 16th Dec 2021.

O’Brien then drove around Slane for a while before presenting himself to Navan Garda station an hour later.

Defence barrister Kathleen Leader SC said her client prayed for Sinead every night and had not intended to harm her when he set the house on fire and knew he should not have done it.

In a statement following the verdict the victim’s family said that justice had been served ‘on the sole person responsible for this evil and brutal crime. As a family we have been left distraught because of it.’

They also thanked their neighbours friends and wider community for their help over the past year and a half which they said was beyond words and had been a great help and strength to them.

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