Man on trial for allegedly setting wife on fire

A JURY has heard a chilling 000 phone call moments before a 45-year-old man allegedly set his wife alight in a blaze that engulfed her and their Pine Creek home.

Jason Christopher John has pleaded not guilty in Bundaberg Supreme Court to alternative charges of attempted murder or intent to cause grievous bodily harm.

The jury will be asked to deliberate firstly on the charge of attempted murder and, if found not guilty, they will then deliberate on the lesser charge of grievous bodily harm.

Crown prosecutor Greg Cummings told the 10-woman, two-man jury that it was John who lit the cigarette lighter that set fire to his wife - from whom he is now separated - during the June 2011 incident.

The court heard John broke off an outside home gas supply cylinder, brought it into the couple's bedroom and opened the valve, dousing the woman in liquid petroleum.

"The victim does not remember the events," Mr Cummings said.

"She remembers some vague details. She remembers him bringing in the gas cylinder, setting it up and turning it on."

Mr Cummings said the crucial part of the prosecution's case was an almost seven-minute 000 call between Senior Constable Donna Sterling and the alleged victim.

At the start of the conversation, the woman is heard telling the officer she fears her husband will kill himself.

Mr Cummings said John could be heard in the background of the call yelling: "I'm going to blow the whole place up."

"He's trying to kill us both," the woman tells the officer.

Mr Cummings said John then told the woman: "You're dead".

Mr Cummings said the phone call ended with a click, believed to be the sound of the cigarette lighter, followed by terrified screams as the cylinder exploded.

The trial, before Justice Duncan McMeekin, continues today.


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