7 August 2017
A Star News Group Publication
All boats rise with the Amazon tide
Thunder on the verge of avenging last year’s pain
Gotta show for snow Snow Fest brought a winter wonderland into Springvale, delighting tens of thousands of people. Suki and her daughter Kavia were among those to enter a giant snow globe. 171059 n See page 8 for the full story. Picture: GARY SISSONS
n Police step in at the last moment to stop asylum seeker’s…
Petrol fire suicide A Noble Park man has been convicted after threatening to self-immolate with a canister of petrol at an asylum-seeker service in Dandenong. Hamed Aeini, a 28-year-old Iranian asylum seeker who now faces likely deportation, forced the AMES Australia offices in Thomas Street into lockdown on 3 May, a court heard. The day before the incident, he threatened to “set myself on fire” in an interpreter-assisted phone call to his AMES case manager. The next morning, he texted his case manager to say that office staff had “yesterday... treated me like an animal”.
“I am coming soon to buy petrol, I’m coming soon.” Aeini filled a red plastic fuel can with $3 of petrol at a Noble Park service station, caught a train, and bought a razor blade from an Afghan store in Dandenong. He was arrested by waiting police as he arrived in the foyer with the petrol, a lighter and the razor blade - as well as $2500 cash. He was observed with recent razor cuts to his arm. The accused was then taken to Dandenong Hospital. He was assessed as not requiring involuntary admission, but would be treated in the community by the Crisis Assessment Team (CAT).
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At a police interview at the time, he was described as of “good demeanour” and “co-operative”. Aeini pleaded guilty to carrying a dangerous article in a public place and using a phone to harass at Dandenong Magistrates’ Court on 31 July. He had been struggling on a bridging visa that prohibited him from working for the past four years, the court heard. According to an agreed police summary, Aeini’s English speech was basic, his social contacts limited and his mental health poor with 13 recorded self-harm incidents. Previously, he had texted his case manager
stating he was “tired of life” and his problems were due to his “bridging visa”. He told police he intended to self-immolate if he didn’t get the desired response from AMES staff. He would have done it in a room away from children, he told them. “He didn’t accept or believe that through his actions that he may have endangered anybody,” the police summary stated. “He simply stated that his intention was to commit suicide and he couldn’t understand why he had been arrested by the police.” Continued page 6
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By Cam Lucadou-Wells