Son accused of pouring fuel on mum, chasing with blow torch
A JURY was warned not to get swept up in the emotion of last week's Camp Hill tragedy as they were tasked with a case involving a son allegedly pouring fuel over his mother and chasing her with a blow torch.
Just five days after Hannah Clarke's husband killed her and their three children in a shocking case of domestic violence, Mackay Supreme Court Justice David North asked jurors to be impartial.
"You should ignore the events that happened in Brisbane," Justice North said.
"You are here to decide this case on the evidence and only the evidence … independent of outside considerations."
Glenella mother Julie Holmes sobbed as she told the court a heated screaming match with her son Zachary Holmes and his partner at the time, Krystal Dalliessi, on September 4, 2018, ended with her son allegedly pulling her head back by her ponytail and pouring fuel over her face.
Ms Holmes gave evidence she arrived at her Cutfield St home with friends Cody Cronin and Paige Harvey about 10.30am, after her son's friend "escorted" her out the night before.
She said she was locked out after she scolded Mr Holmes and Ms Dalliessi for fighting while a house-call doctor was seeing her for pneumonia.
Ms Holmes told the court she and her friends knocked on doors and windows the next morning, telling Mr Holmes to let her in.
After receiving a text from Mr Holmes to leave his partner's daughter's car seat at the house, she said she realised he was home and the pair began yelling at each other, with Ms Holmes threatening to phone the police and the real estate agent.
"He said 'if you come inside, I'm going to f*****g kill you," Ms Holmes testified.
The three women entered the home after tearing the screen door near the latch and unlocking it, she said.
When the women entered the kitchen, Ms Holmes said her son appeared and attempted to pour the contents of a kettle over his mother.
Ms Holmes said she laughed when he slipped over as the water spilt on the floor.
She said he called her a "bad mother" and was going to kill her but she could not recall when during the scuffle.
Ms Holmes testified during the heated fight, her son allegedly went back into the car port and emerged with a jerry can.
He then allegedly attempted to reach over Ms Cronin and Ms Harvey to pour it on Ms Holmes.
Ms Holmes said she attempted to hide behind Ms Dalliessi, as she was holding her daughter at the time.
But she said Ms Dalliessi "stepped aside and pointed for (Mr Holmes) to get (her)".
"It was going down my throat … I couldn't see," she said.
Her son's friend allegedly emerged at his side and produced an orange BIC lighter.
Ms Holmes testified that friend told her son, "here's a lighter, bro", "burn the dog" and that "she deserves to die, the f*****g dog".
She said after her son released her, she grabbed a tea towel and began dabbing at her face.
"My face was burning," she told the court.
She said she then collected her cigarettes, mobile phone and the tea towel and ran out of the house.
Her neighbour Marlene Rashleigh testified she had just returned home from a bike ride and was standing outside her home when she saw Ms Holmes holding something to her head.
"I thought she had just jumped out of the shower because her hair was all wet," Ms Rashleigh told the court.
"She was whispering 'call the police, call the police' … then I saw her son run towards her and he had a large item in his hand.
"I think I may have beckoned her to come to me."
Ms Rashleigh and Ms Holmes ran inside her six-foot gates, with Ms Rashleigh stating her neighbour smelled of fuel.
Mr Holmes has pleaded not guilty to attempted murder and the alternative of malicious act with intent to maim or disfigure.
The trial continues.