House of pain: Noosa home where girl was allegedly tortured goes up in flames

The home where a girl was allegedly held against her will and tortured has been burnt to the ground days after vigilante threats to firebomb the property near Noosa.

Mar 29, 2023, updated Mar 29, 2023
Emergency services could not save the brick house, which was engulfed in flames when they arrived.(ABC Sunshine Coast: Owen Jacques)

Emergency services could not save the brick house, which was engulfed in flames when they arrived.(ABC Sunshine Coast: Owen Jacques)

Police believe the home in Tewantin on the Sunshine Coast was set alight in the early hours of Wednesday.

The home where three girls – aged 12, 13 and 14 – allegedly attacked and tortured their teenage victim had been vandalised days before the arson attack.

Police will allege the girl was lured to the property before being beaten, slashed with a knife and verbally abused in a prolonged attack on March 11.

The trio was later arrested but footage of the incident captured the girls boasting about the attack, sparking a wave of public outrage and a spate of vandalism attacks at the property.

On Wednesday, simmering tensions erupted when the Waratah Close home was engulfed in flames about 1.30am.

No one was at the property at the time and no injuries were reported as the home burned to the ground.

Sunshine Coast district superintendent Craig Hawkins said “the act” was disgraceful.

“This home was owned by social housing and this act has now deprived a person in need of a home from that opportunity,” Hawkins said.

“The investigation will include exploring linkages of what’s previously happened at this property but at this stage there’s nothing that might confirm that.”

Police have also launched an investigation into “racially motivated” material distributed in the region in the lead-up to the arson.

“Early indications indicate that the flyer itself had been generated by people that don’t live on the Sunshine Coast (and) have no connection to the Sunshine Coast,” Hawkins said.

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“That not only has been distributed here but also been distributed in another location in the southeast Queensland area.”

Hawkins said the material had been distributed by “gutless” individuals in an attempt to incite radical behaviour.

“Everyone has the right in Queensland to feel safe, to not be a victim and to live harmoniously within the environment within the state.

“The cultural heritage of the people who did occupy this home is completely irrelevant.

“A matter has occurred. Police have investigated that matter. And these individuals are now before a court for justice to be delivered – we take acts of racial discrimination or racially motivated events very seriously.”

Anyone who may have witnessed the incident, or has dashcam or CCTV from the surrounding area, is urged to contact police.

Police have declared a crime scene and are appealing for witnesses or anyone with information to contact detectives.


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