ACT News


Firebomb victim unhappy with ACT police

Monday's report of ACT Policing's apparent lack of action over a shotgun attack on a car at Kambah just after Christmas was ''deja vu all over again'' for Curtin nurse Anne Duffy. ''After reading your story about the drive-by shooting, I am not surprised at the AFP for not making the incident public and calling for witnesses,'' she said.

''On Easter Sunday morning (April 4) 2010, my car had its tyres slashed and was then firebombed, with the resultant fire nearly taking out my house as the car was parked under the front timber deck.

''If it was not for the alarm being raised by my neighbour, Duncan, I shudder to think what may have happened, as we were still asleep at the other end of the house.''

Ms Duffy said police did not arrive until after the fire had been extinguished by ACT Fire and Rescue and were more interested in talking to her then 20-year-old son, who was known to them on other matters, than to her, even though it was her house and her car.

''I was only approached when I called down to inform them that I was the owner of the car,'' she told Fairfax Media.

''Then a female probationary constable was sent up to ask if I knew who had done it. What a stupid question.''


ACT Policing is currently checking its records in order to verify the incident before commenting.

Fairfax Media has seen an email dated April 20, 2010, confirming the incident had been reported, that the car, a Mitsubishi utility, had been destroyed, and quoting a case number she could give to Canberra Connect to cancel the registration.

Ms Duffy believes the individual or individuals behind the firebomb attack had meant to destroy her home and had no respect for human life.

''They slashed the tyres so the car could not be moved away from under the deck where it was parked,'' she said. ''That's what the firies told me; they said they had seen it before.'' Slashing the tyres was definitely overkill. ''The car couldn't have been moved anyway; whatever they used [as an accelerant] went off like a bomb. You couldn't get near it.''

The former theatre nurse, who now holds an administrative position at the Canberra Hospital, said the event had been terrifying.

''Just before dawn I felt the house shake,'' she said. ''It woke me but I was still half asleep. Then I heard loud banging. It was my neighbour, Duncan, trying to wake us up. He was yelling 'Anne, get out'.''

She made the mistake of going out onto the deck just as the fuel tank apparently went up. ''There was a big whoosh and a wall of flame. Thank God for the firies; if it wasn't for them we would have lost the house.''

Ms Duffy said police had told her not to move the car on any account. When, after some weeks, they had not got back to her, she had it taken away for scrap.

''I have not heard one word from the AFP [on the firebombing of the car] and I believe it was swept under the carpet, something to be ignored,'' she told Fairfax Media.