Dad SADIK SLJIVO has been jailed for (only) 4 1/2 years for igniting the family home after barricading himself and his two sons inside. (And it appears he could do less time than that!) The boys only survived because the police forced their way inside. Not surprisingly, Dad had a history of domestic violence against the boys' mother.
Dad jailed for igniting family home
September 14, 2009
Article from: Australian Associated Press
A FATHER who ignited the family home after barricading himself and his two sons inside has been jailed for four-and-a-half years.
The Melbourne County Court was told Sadik Sljivo, 33, set fire to his Dandenong North home and held his sons, then aged two and four, inside while it burned.
Jailing him, Judge Gerard Mullaly said Sljivo's actions were "very frightening" and could have ended in catastrophe if brave police officers had not forced their way inside to save the children.
The court was told Sljivo and his former wife and mother of the children, Sanela Zlojic, were having relationship difficulties when an argument broke out last December.
Sljivo grabbed Ms Zlojic by the throat, held her up against a wall and used a knife to hit or scratch her several times.
He professed his love to her while at the same time threatening to kill her and himself.
Sljivo said he would set the house on fire, then poured petrol through it and turned the gas on.
Ms Zlojic managed to flee and call for help.
When police arrived at the house they could smell petrol fumes and called for Sljivo to give up his two children he was holding inside a barricaded bedroom.
They eventually broke a window and forcibly removed the children who were uninjured.
Judge Mullaly said Sljivo's actions had deeply affected his family.
"Your crimes have had a lasting and profound effect on Ms Zlojic and your two young boys," he said.
Judge Mullaly said Sljivo's "explosive outburst" was bizarre and out of character.
The judge accepted Sljivo was ashamed and remorseful.
He also accepted Sljivo was finding it difficult to cope and was traumatised after being shot escaping from militia while living in war-torn Bosnia as a teenager.
But Judge Mullaly said using violence to cope with the breakdown of a relationship would not be condoned and people had a right to the freedom to safely leave relationships.
Sljivo pleaded guilty to five charges including arson, assault, threatening to kill and two of conduct endangering life.
He must serve a minimum term of two years and three months.
His sentence takes into account the nine months he has already spent in custody.