Schoolgirls burnt in 'firebomb' attack by young boys
TWO schoolgirls have suffered burns after a random "firebomb" attack at a major Sunshine Coast shopping centre.
One of the victims, Cailin Henke, 12, was on her first visit to the Sunshine Plaza without her parents, tagging along with close friend Shaye-Lee Little, 16, when they were attacked on Saturday afternoon.
They said a group of young boys, about 10-12 in total, had approached them asking for cigarettes while the girls sat on some rocks behind Woolworths waiting for their bus to arrive.
The two girls told the boys - which they guessed to be about 12-15 years old - that they didn't smoke.
Cailin said the boys moved onto the next rock and started lighting fires, before combining a number of packets of sparklers, lighting them, and hitting the girls with them.
"It hit me and sparks came off and hit her (Shaye-Lee)," Cailin recalled.
"It hurt a lot. I didn't know what to do."
Stunned by what was happening, Cailin stayed rooted to the spot while Shaye-Lee gave chase after the boys, but was unable to keep up with them as they took off on scooters and skateboards.
Cailin lost some hair in the attack and was left with sizeable burns to both her legs.
The pair went to police to report the attack and a 14-year-old Yaroomba boy has since been charged with two counts of assault occasioning bodily harm.
He will be dealt with under the Youth Justices Act.
Cailin's mother Harmony said she was disgusted by the "firebomb" attack.
"You can't just set people on fire," she said.
"What sort of kids do that these days? That's pretty sadistic.
Harmony said her daughter broke down in tears when she rang to tell her of the attack.
She's been off school since the attack, unable to move much with the wounds spread across her knee joints making life uncomfortable for the active sport lover.
Shaye-Lee received minor burns as a result of the attack, but Harmony wants the other boys involved brought to justice.
Sunshine Plaza managers Lendlease didn't comment as it was a police matter.