Dast­yari con­firms mar­riage split as he en­ters jun­gle

The Courier-Mail - - NEWS - EMILY HAL­LO­RAN CHRIS McMA­HON GRAF­FITI SPRAYED ON THE PROP­ERTY

A MES­SAGE scrawled on the back of a home com­pletely gut­ted by fire is a key clue for in­ves­ti­ga­tors look­ing into a sus­pected ar­son.

Plumes of black smoke filled the air in Ash­more yes­ter­day, as a Be­lah St prop­erty went up in flames in the early hours of Mon­day.

The man rent­ing the home, a 46-year-old Ash­more lo­cal, has spo­ken with de­tec­tives about that mes­sage, “This is for f--king ing my wife,” with po­lice sources say­ing they could be look­ing for a jilted lover.

Early in­ves­ti­ga­tions sug­gest the of­fender had bro­ken into a ute parked un­der a car­port at the prop­erty some time be­fore 8am and then re­versed it into the side of the home and set the car on fire. The blaze quickly spread through­out the build­ing, leav­ing only charred re­mains be­hind.

Po­lice are also in­ves­ti­gat­ing whether a boat, a moped and a trailer were stolen from the home in the leadup to the fire be­ing ig­nited.

Wit­nesses said they heard ex­plo­sions be­fore rush­ing out of their homes to see the home well alight.

Nearby res­i­dent Phil Pope was the first on the scene and said he saw the ute on fire.

“I went to open the front door to make sure no one was in­side, but I heard an ex­plo­sion and stayed back,” Mr Pope said.

Bev Gavin who lives be­hind the prop­erty said she was con­cerned the strong winds blow­ing in her di­rec­tion would spread the blaze to her home.

“I saw the fire from my bed­room and called Triple-0. I heard about three ex­plo­sions,” she said.

“I’m very thank­ful. My neigh­bours ran over and turned off my power and moved my car for me.”

Fire­fight­ers rushed to the scene about 8am, with South­port fire bri­gade Sta­tion Of­fi­cer Michael Brown say­ing they fought the blaze for 20 min­utes be­fore it was out. “Over 50 per cent of the home was on fire, and the rest has been dam­aged with smoke. A jet­ski and dual cab ute have been de­stroyed too.”

The home was still a crime scene yes­ter­day.

Po­lice In­spec­tor Karen Shaw said they were still in­ves­ti­gat­ing and called on any­one with in­for­ma­tion or CCTV or dash­cam footage to con­tact Crime Stop­pers on 1800 333 000. DIS­GRACED La­bor politi­cian Sam Dast­yari has split from his wife w of eight years.

The 35-year-old is un­der­stood s to have parted ways with part­ner He­len Bar­ron (both pic­tured) less than a year after h he was forced to quit par­lia­men­tover deal­ings with Huang Xiangmo, who has links to the C Chi­nese Com­mu­nist Party.

The news comes a day after Mr Dast­yari was un­veiled as a con­tes­tant on re- al­ity-TV show, I’m A Celebrity … Get Me Out Of Here!

“We have had a very am­i­ca­ble split and still it is so hard,” Mr Dast­yari said be­fore en­ter­ing the South African jun­gle to com­pete on the re­al­ity show.

“I just can’t imag­ine how peo­ple who don’t have the lux­ury of such a sup­port­ive part­ner do it,’’ he said.

“I can’t imag­ine how hard it must be to have a bit­ter break up. Be­cause this was am­i­ca­ble and it still hurts so much.”

The cou­ple has two daugh­ters to­gether. Mr Dast­yari will spend up to a month in South Africa com­pet­ing in var­i­ous tucker tri­als against fel­low for­mer politi­cian Jac­qui Lam­bie.

Oth­ers on the show in­clude co­me­dian Tahir Bil­gic, TV pre­sen­ters Ajay Rochester and Luke Ja­cobz, AFL great Der­mot Br­ere­ton and MasterChef con­tes­tant Jus­tine Schofield.

EX­PLO­SIONS HEARD: Neigh­bours rushed out of their homes to wit­ness the gut­ted house in Be­lah St Ash­more. Pic­ture: Emily Hal­lo­ran

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