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Kyesha Finemore speaks outside court

2 min read

TWO years ago, Kyesha Finemore and her boyfriend at the time, Brae Taylor Lewis, got into a bitter argument about a mobile phone inside their South Brisbane home.

Lewis, now 19, then grabbed a jerry can filled with petrol, soaked his 17-year-old girlfriend and set her on fire.

The petrol fumes around her body meant Ms Finemore quickly became engulfed in flames, leaving her with severe burns to her arms, legs, torso and face.

Lewis was charged with one count of intent to cause grievous bodily harm and after a harrowing trial for Ms Finemore and her family, was found guilty.

The jury took less than two hours to reach a verdict and the crown prosecutor is asking for a minimum of 12 years.

It was on the night of May 27, 2016 that neighbours heard Ms Finemore scream out in pain, rushing to the scene and calling an ambulance.

When paramedics arrived at the Marsden house, they found a severely injured 17-year-old, rushing the teenager to Royal Brisbane Hospital where she was put in an induced coma.

After more than a day in a coma, Ms Finemore spent another month in the Brisbane hospital, dealing with surgery after surgery and partially recovering from her horrific burns.

Parts of Ms Finemore’s body are still noticeably burnt but the 19-year-old is on the road to recovery.

Speaking to 7 News after her ex-boyfriend had been found guilty of the brutal attack, Ms Finemore said she still bears mental and physical scars two years on.

“I remember being in scorching pain after the flames were put out,” she said on Thursday.

“There’s days that I walk out of my house and I have to walk straight back in because I don’t want to be stared at,” she said.

Kyesha’s mother Melissa Cooke said Lewis’ trial had been difficult for the family to go through.

“I guess it’s been really stressful, the whole court case has brought up a lot of pain and nightmares,” Ms Cooke said.

“It’s a lifetime for her, it’s not just a black eye or a broken jaw.”

Two years on, Ms Finemore said she’s still in disbelief over her ex-boyfriend and former “best friend’s” crime.

“I don’t see how you could do something so horrific to someone that you love,” she said.

“If he could do it to someone that was so close to him, he could do it to anyone.”

Ms Finemore told Seven she chose to tell her domestic violence story in the hope it would encourage other women to seek help.

“You’ve just gotta remind yourself that you’re going to have bad days always but you can get through it,” she added.

Lewis’s defence claimed he thought the can of petrol was closed when he threw it towards Ms Finemore and that he didn’t realise she was surrounded by fumes.

Despite that, a jury took less than two hours to decide Lewis was guilty of the crime.

Ms Finemore is recovering, with her family by her side and regularly posts about her progress on Facebook.

In a video posted six months after she was burnt, Ms Finemore said “I’ve had way better years in my life”.

“I was just an average teenage girl … I was young and dumb and fell in love with my best friend … Best friend of five years,” she wrote.

“Until one day, something unforgettable happened … I spent 30 days in hospital knowing that there was months of treatment after I got out.

“I still am that average girl just with a few more scars … he set me free … free to live my life the way I want to live it and free to finally move on.”

Immediately after the attack, Kyesha’s sister said she “does not deserve this”.

“She is only 17 years old, she has her whole life ahead of her and she does not deserve this,” Kyesha’s sister said.

“You are such a beautiful young girl, you’re not giving up on me this easy. I know you can get through this, you’re a fighter.

“I love you heaps sis, I can’t believe this has happened.”

Lewis is expected to be sentenced Friday afternoon.

The crown prosecutor is asking the judge to sentence him to no less than 12 years in prison.

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Dad called a ‘paedophile’ over this photo in offensive online slur

2 min read

IT WAS one of those precious and intimate moments captured on camera between a father his and newborn bub that would be cherished forever:

Sean looking adoringly into his six-week-old baby girl’s eyes to give her a sweet little kiss on the lips just before she has a bath.

The smitten dad loved the photo so much that he put it as profile picture on Facebook to show the beautiful connection between him and his tiny little Bella.

For more stories like this visit kidspot.com.au

But shockingly, one woman in a Facebook group where Sean commented on a post was so offended by the photo that she bombarded Sean with the most inappropriate, obscene and unnecessary remarks.

“She said that he was a pedo and ‘what father kisses his daughter on the lips?’ She said she was calling DOCS (now Family and Community Services) so he can’t molest his daughter anymore — and was constantly calling him a child rapist and paedophile,” his partner Christal tells Kidspot.

“The picture has been Sean’s cover photo since that photo was taken as that is his favourite picture and he always has himself and Bella in all profile pictures so she went into his profile and screenshotted the picture and posted it saying he was a paedophile.”

THE OFFENSIVE COMMENTS REDUCED THE NEW DAD TO TEARS

In utter disbelief — Christal and Sean felt a whole whirlwind of emotions from the bizarre and hurtful comments.

“I felt angry at first, I have never had anyone call him that or even imply that and Sean was crying — so I knew he took what she was saying to heart,” she says.

“This also got me very confused — how can a father kissing his daughter at six weeks old before she got in the bath be a pedo?

“I then felt sad to think that someone would think that and it made me question if others felt the same about the photo and if I was just seeing at as beautiful when it was inappropriate to others.

“So the mum-of-one decided to share the image in a mums group to get their views and received an overwhelmingly positive reaction.

“I felt relieved and happy that the mums were on my side and that they were on the same page as me.”

However, sadly, the women admitted that many of their male partners wouldn’t feel comfortable sharing such an intimate moment on social media.

“I would never have looked at it in a negative way and as the woman who said the negative things was a mother, I wanted to see if it was seen by others as just a beautiful picture,” Christal explains.

“But I was surprised at how many mums said their partners wouldn’t share these moments due to these kind of negative reactions.

“I know many fathers that are scared of this reaction.”

It upsets Christal that fathers feel they can’t be as openly affectionate with their children in public as mothers so easily do.

“I know many fathers that are scared of this reaction — yet I don’t know any mothers who are. I feel this is why men are scared to change nappies or kiss their child in public,” she says.

“It honestly hurts to think that men won’t post pictures or do things in public because of someone assuming things to be sinister instead of what it really is.

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Australians don’t realise ambulances aren’t free

1 min read

IF YOU didn’t know ambulances weren’t free in Australia, don’t worry — you’re not alone.

New research from Finder has found that almost a third of Australians wrongly believe ambulances are totally covered by Medicare.

The findings, which came from a survey of 2085 Australians, found that 30 per cent believe ambulance costs are subsided wholly by the government.

In reality, getting an ambulance can be a costly experience if you don’t have a concession or health card.

In Australia, the cost of calling an ambulance without one of these cards differs by state.

In Queensland and Tasmania, ambulances are subsidised in full by their state governments — although these don’t fall under Medicare.

But other states they can be surprisingly costly.

In rural Victoria, it costs $1776 to call an ambulance for an emergency — and $1204 for non-rural parts. In Western Australia it costs $967.

South Australia, the Northern Territory, New South Wales and Canberra charge both a call-out fee and a per-kilometre rate.

In South Australia it’s $976 for an emergency, then $5.60 per kilometre.

In the Northern Territory, it’s $790 for a call-out, then $5.10 per kilometre.

NSW & ACT are notably cheaper — at $372 for an emergency, plus $3.35 per kilometre.

In NSW, residents who use emergency ambulance services are charged 51 per cent of the actual cost and receive a State Government subsidy of 49 per cent for the remainder.

“This research shows that many Australians think that, like other essential medical expenses, the cost of using ambulance transport is covered by Medicare. Unfortunately, this isn’t true,” said Finder Health Insurance Expert Bessie Hassan.

“Most insurance providers will offer a form of Ambulance cover but much like differences between the states, this can vary significantly between insurers.

“If you aren’t sure whether you are covered by your private health policy, it is usually listed under extras or sometimes as a stand-alone policy. It might also specify whether it is for emergency only or all ambulance use.”

The research also found it was mostly younger generations who were confused by the costs, with 47 per cent of Gen Z and a third of Gen Y believing it was free under Medicare.

Of the states who had to pay, people in New South Wales and Victoria were most confused about the costs.

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A customer was yelled at and jailed for groping waitress

0 min read

THIS is the moment a furious waitress body slammed a customer in a crowded restaurant — for grabbing her bum as he walked past.

CCTV footage shows Emelia Holden, 21, sorting through a pile of menus at Vinnie Van Go-Go’s in Savannah, Georgia, when the perv gropes her on his way out, reportsthe Sun.

But brave Emelia immediately turned to grab him by the scruff of his neck — before throwing him against a wall with one arm.

She then berates him in front of other customers before telling co-workers to call the police.

The customer was hauled off in cuffs after cops reviewed CCTV footage.

Emelia said: “I just did what I felt was best. I took the guy down and had my co-workers call the police.

“As soon as the cops saw the CCTV footage, they immediately arrested the man. He sat in jail until Monday so in my opinion, he got what he deserved.

“All that I want from my experiences is for women to know that it’s OK to stand up for yourself.

“You have every right to wear what you want and you most certainly have every right to defend yourself.”

This article originally appeared on The Sun and has been republished here with permission.

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