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‘I’m bad, but I’m not that bad,' accused tells court

Gary Flynn insists he had nothing to do with two fires that were discovered inside his apartment while he was there.

Gary Flynn is led out of the courtroom during a break in his trial Tuesday in provincial court in St. John’s. — Photo by Rosie Mullaley/The Telegram

“I got no idea how they started,” Flynn said Tuesday while testifying in his trial at provincial court in St. John’s.

“I wouldn’t light a fire. However that happened, I don’t know. … I’m bad, but I’m not that bad.”

Flynn is charged with arson with disregard for human life and two counts of breaching probation.

The 55-year-old was arrested as a result of a fire in his apartment at Hillview Terrace Suites on Torbay Road in the capital city on Nov. 22, 2014.

At 11:35 a.m. that day, the RNC received a report a man in Building 4 had taken a number of pills and was going to harm himself.

Police officers testified in the opening day of the trial March 31 that as soon as they walked into the apartment, they smelled smoke. They said a haze of smoke filled the place.

They found a small fire inside a plastic bucket in the hallway closet on the way in. When Turpin opened the door to the spare bedroom, thick black smoke billowed out of the room. Officers said flames on the bed were shooting to the ceiling.

An investigation determined the water in the apartment had been shut off and a fuse connecting the smoke detector was also missing.

But Flynn told the court he didn’t notice. He said he only used the water in the bathroom and that had been working. He said he had no reason to check the fuse.

Flynn, who said he had taken Ativan and was drinking, testified he had gone outside to have a cigarette. He said he didn’t even have a lighter and had to ask for a light from someone outside. He said when he got back to his apartment five or 10 minutes later, he noticed his front door was cracked. He didn’t notice anything taken.

In cross-examination, Flynn said he didn’t smell smoke in the apartment.

“I didn’t know what (the officers) were talking about,” he said.

He said he didn’t even know there was a bedroom in the apartment, despite the fact police found two beer bottles in the room.

He said he was only supposed to be in the apartment temporarily until another place could be found for him. He admitted to Crown prosecutor Shawn Patten that he was angry about his living situation and the way social services was treating him.

“I was getting bounced around for no reason,” he said.

Patten suggested Flynn started the fires to express his anger about his living there.

“Yes, I was angry, but I’ve got patience,” he said.

Judge Mike Madden will render the verdict May 21.

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