Julie Holmes speaks outside court

‘He’s my son’: mum talks about terrifying attack

A GLENELLA mother has tearfully spoken out about the day her son poured fuel over her face and into her mouth before trying to set her on fire in what was labelled a callous and vicious act.

It was with conflicting emotions that Julie Holmes watched as her 24-year-old son was jailed for six years over the terrifying attack.

"When it was happening to me I thought I was going to be dead really, I thought I was a goner," she said outside Mackay Supreme Court.

"I've never been so scared in my life.

"At the end of the day I know he's done the wrong thing, but he's my son, I gave birth to him."

Zachary Holmes was acquitted of attempted murder, but found guilty of malicious act with intent to maim or disfigure for dousing her with petrol and chasing after her with a handheld blow torch.

Julie Holmes outside her son’s supreme court attempted murder trial.
Julie Holmes outside her son’s supreme court attempted murder trial.

A heated argument sparked what Justice David North called a disgraceful and cruel act, which occurred on September 4, 2018.

And since then Mrs Holmes was forced to relive the harrowing details of the terrifying attack multiple times including through two supreme court trials.

It still affects her today, although she had since been working to repair her relationship with her son.

"I have a lot of counselling. I do have a group of support people that really care for me and my daughters help me," Mrs Holmes said.

She and her daughter Stacey stood by and supported Holmes throughout the two trials and embraced him yesterday before he was led away by police to go back into custody.

"I don't know how I feel at the moment, happy but sad," she said.

"It's disbelief … I can't believe it's happened in the first place."

Because Holmes has been in custody since the incident he will be eligible to apply for parole on May 21 next year.

Mrs Holmes plans to continue to support her son while he is in jail.

Her parting words were: "Be nice to your mum, don't ever hurt your mother."

*For 24-hour domestic violence support call the national hotline 1800RESPECT on 1800 737 732 or MensLine on 1800 600 636.



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