A Sydney mother who suffered horrific burns when a homemade bomb exploded in her face says she’s lucky she wasn’t killed by the blast.
Denise Lavell, 55, from Canterbury in the city’s inner west, was severely burnt on her face, hands and ankles after finding the bomb in a flaming bag outside her home on June 8.
The device, which was made of shrapnel, aerosol cans and fuel, exploded when she tried to put the fire out.
‘It’s only just through good luck that I was not either dead or seriously injured,’ Mrs Lavell told Nine News.
Sydney woman Denise Lavell, from Canterbury, (pictured) suffered severe burns to her face, hands and ankles after a homemade bomb allegedly meant for someone else was left outside her home
Nine males (three pictured) aged from 17 to 20 were arrested on Thursday and eight were charged over the horrific incident
‘As I kicked it off it exploded, later on I found out that there were thumbtacks in there and it was just so shocking to think this sort of thing happens in Australia,’ she told Seven News.
‘The fact that somebody would go to this level without even really fully knowing they were targeting the right person is just absolutely appalling.’
Lavell was rushed to Concord Hospital while a 19-year-old man who was also at the home at the time escaped uninjured.
Mrs Lavell said she was lucky she kicked the bag away as it burned.
‘Had I not kicked it off the veranda, I honestly don’t think I would be here,’ she said.
Nine males aged from 17 to 20 were arrested on Thursday and eight were charged over the incident.
The bomb was left inside a flaming bag (pictured) outside Mrs Lavell’s home. Police allege she was the innocent victim of a drug dispute between criminals
Detective Superintendent Paul Devaney alleged the incident was an act of retribution after drugs were purportedly stolen from a criminal gang, with Mrs Lavell caught in the crossfire.
‘We’ll allege this act at Canterbury was one of mistaken identity, with the 55-year-old female having no involvement in any offence whatsoever,’ he said.
‘These men are facing extremely serious charges … they’ve made a number of bad decisions that have resulted in life-changing experiences for the victim.’
Police say the homemade bomb was ‘crudely manufactured’ and incorporated aerosol cans with flammable substances, fire lighters, sparklers and thumbtacks.
The eight men charged were all refused bail and are due to appear at Central Local Court on Friday.
Nine men were arrested on Thursday and eight were charged over the incident which left Mrs Lavell (pictured) with horrific burns to her face, hands and ankles