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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