The Sunday Mail (Queensland)

Man in court as badly burnt lit­tle girl fights for life

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A THREE-year-old girl was fight­ing for her life in hos­pi­tal and her two sib­lings were re­cov­er­ing af­ter al­legedly be­ing doused in petrol and set alight.

Wit­nesses de­scribed how the chil­dren’s mother des­per­ately yelled for help and screamed “he’s set the kids on fire” be­fore an off-duty po­lice­woman came to the res­cue in a dra­matic do­mes­tic in­ci­dent in Perth about 1am yesterday.

Bris­bane tiler Ed­ward John Herbert, 43 (pic­tured), be­lieved to be the chil­dren’s fa­ther, ap­peared in Perth Mag­is­trates Court on five charges of ag­gra­vated griev­ous bod­ily harm, at­tempted griev­ous bod­ily harm, be­ing armed with a fil­let­ing knife and dous­ing a vic­tim in petrol.

A shirt­less and tat­tooed Herbert stood sur­rounded by four of­fi­cers in the dock and told the court he un­der­stood some of the charges be­fore laps­ing into an un­re­spon­sive state.

Mag­is­trate Jen­nifer Hawkins said she was con­cerned be­cause Herbert was un­rep­re­sented and needed to be seen by a men­tal health nurse. He was re­manded in cus­tody to reap­pear in court on Tues­day. He ap­peared to col­lapse as he was dragged out.

Wit­nesses said the youngest child, who had a birth­day party on Fri­day to celebrate turn­ing four to­mor­row, suf­fered “hor­ren­dous” burns and was last night in a crit­i­cal but sta­ble con­di­tion in a Perth hos­pi­tal.

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