A policewoman in Perth, Australia came to the rescue of a gruesome scene: a little girl’s father had set her on fire, before moving on to his autistic 7-year-old daughter and dousing her in petrol in an attempt on her life.
Edward John Herbert, who is a known drug user, set his youngest daughter on fire for being “too beautiful” according to police. During the trial, he admitted his intention to kill the girls, but pled not guilty to five charges on account of being unsound of mind.
Constable Stephanie Bochorsky was off duty at the time, watching television in her own nearby house, when she heard an altercation break out in the Herbert house. She ran over there and found the little girl already up in flames.
The Daily Mail reports:
Herbert admits his intention to kill, but has pleaded not guilty to five charges on account of being unsound of mind.
Constable Stephanie Bochorsky was off-duty at the time and watching television at her neighbouring home when she heard an altercation between Herbert and his partner.
The constable told the court on Monday that when she asked the woman if she was OK, she replied: ‘No, he’s setting the kids on fire!’
Const Bochorsky ran into the house and smelt petrol.
‘Her whole head was on fire,’ she said, as she took a moment to compose herself.
The officer covered the girl in a blanket to put out the flames and saw Herbert pouring petrol over the older child in her bed.
Const Bochorsky told Herbert to get away from the children, but he did not respond and remained there, which she described as weird.
‘My main concern was to get the flames extinguished,’ she said.
The policewoman dragged the older girl out of the bed and bolted out of the house.
Prosecutor Amanda Forrester said in her opening address of the judge-alone trial that the three-year-old, who had burns to 13 per cent of her body, was permanently scarred from the life-threatening injuries she suffered.
Ms Forrester said Herbert was a cannabis user and drinker, who was behaving strangely leading up to the incident, with his moods changing from happiness to anger.