It’s the stuff of nightmares. Masked men burst into your home, pour petrol on your toddler and threaten to set him alight if you don’t do what they say.
And it just happened to a young mum during a terrifying home invasion in Tasmania.
Police are now investigating the “horrific” crime. It happened early on Wednesday morning. The men forced their way into the home in the Launceston suburb of King Meadows just after 7am.
Threats to kill
It’s believed the two men were looking for another person. They threatened to kill the 23-year-old woman and her two-year-old child to get them to talk.
Tasmanian Police Acting Detective Inspector John Parker told ABC News the men also threatened to burn down the Kay Street house.
“They were trying to locate these other two persons who they believed to be there and were threatening her with her life,” Acting Detective Inspector Parker said.
“When the offenders have not been able to ascertain the information they wanted, they’ve poured petrol over the victim and then they’ve poured petrol over the back of the two-year-old child and threatened to burn the child in the presence of its mother.”
“Whether it be the mother or the child … the fact that someone has had petrol poured over them and then threatened to be burned alive is a horrific act.”
The men eventually left the house, taking some money with them. The little boy was not hurt because the petrol was mostly confined to his clothes. But police say his mother is now facing complications from being doused in the petrol.
The frightened woman told police one of the men was tall with a thin build. The other was shorter with a heavier build. Both men had their faces obscured and may have been driving a red hatchback.
Anyone who saw the men in the area around Kay Street, or who may have CCTV footage, is asked to contact Crimestoppers.