News Queensland man threatened to light up family home

Queensland man threatened to light up family home

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Police arrived at a Coomera home to find a man clutching a cigarette lighter and drenched in fuel. Photo: Twitter/Queensland Police
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Police have crash-tackled a man who doused himself in fuel and threatened to set his partner and adult children alight on the Gold Coast.

Officers risked their own lives to prevent what could have been a horrific act of domestic violence at a Coomera property on Sunday night.

When police arrived they found the man clutching a cigarette lighter and drenched in fuel. The family dog had also been doused and fuel had been splashed throughout the home.

The man had earlier threatened his partner, two adult children and one of their partners but they managed to make it outside.

Police risked their lives to crash tackle the man and remove the lighter, allowing authorities to lift an emergency declaration covering nearby properties.

The incident follows the horrific death of mother-of-three Kelly Wilkinson one week ago. She died after being set on fire, allegedly by her estranged husband Brian Earl Johnston, in the yard of her Gold Coast home.

Ms Wilkinson was the third woman to die in just over a year after being set alight in alleged domestic violence-related attacks.

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Police found Kelly Wilkinson’s burnt body in the backyard of her Arundel home. Photo: Facebook

Acting Chief Superintendent Geoff Sheldon said the courage of police had prevented another horrible scene unfolding on Sunday night.

“A 43-year-old … has doused himself and the house in petrol while his partner, and two adult children of that partnership, and one of their girlfriends was in the house,” he told reporters on Tuesday.

“He’s even showered the dog in petrol and threatened to light the whole lot up.”

Superintendent Sheldon said police took decisive tactical action in a display of “out-and-out bravery”.

“They’ve jumped on a fellow soaked in petrol, with a cigarette lighter in his hand, been able to disarm him and safely take him into custody, which is a great end to what could have been a very very tragic event.”

He appealed to victims of domestic violence to contact police for help before situations became life-threatening.

“We want people to come forward in time to talk to us, to take us into their confidence, and have confidence we will act on their behalf and do something about their situation.”

The man in the Coomera incident faces a string of charges including wilful damage, assault, deprivation of liberty and acts intended to cause grievous bodily harm.

Police have promised a forensic review of all contact they had with Ms Wilkinson before she died, with her family saying she went to police almost daily in the lead-up to the attack that claimed her life.

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