A woman left destitute when her home was burnt down, killing her dog and consuming her father's ashes, has wept while confronting her former partner in court as he was jailed.
The woman, who cannot be identified, said Robert Edward Cain destroyed everything she cared about when he torched her home outside Coen, in Far North Queensland, in December 2014.
Cain, 55, avoided authorities for more than three years before finally pleading guilty in the Brisbane District Court on Wednesday.
The court was told Cain was "in a bad place" when the pair's "volatile" two-year relationship broke down.
He went to the remote property just after midnight on December 13, 2014, and tried to tow his caravan loaded with her possessions from the property.
When that failed, he loaded his dog into his car before confronting his former partner, saying "don't worry, this time it's over".
The victim told the court she "ran for her life" into a paddock wearing only a nightgown when she saw a glow coming from her home.
As the fire took hold, bullets and gas bottles exploded before the victim realised her dog was trapped in the blaze.
"I tried to get back there, but there were bullets exploding in all directions. I still pray to this day that she died of a heart attack before being burned alive," she told the court.
Firefighters took more than four hours to bring the fire under control, but the home and all the victim's possessions were destroyed.
"There was nothing I could do. Nothing could be saved. As a mother of four children, I had not one single photo left. Robert Cain left me stranded and destitute. My life will never be as it was."
She broke down as she told the court the urn containing her father's ashes were also destroyed.
"The only way you could tell was because it was different coloured ash."
She collected what she could of her father's ashes, placing them in a dog water bowl before they were re-cremated.
"He was burnt three times and only lived once," she said.
In police interviews, Cain admitted to lighting the fire and said he "probably shouldn't have done it" before fleeing the state before trial.
After more than three years on the run, Cain was arrested in Tasmania and extradited to Queensland.
In sentencing, Judge Richard Jones said there was no doubt it had been a "profound and distressing" experience for the victim.
Cain was sentenced to three-and-a-half years' imprisonment and will be eligible for parole on September 27, 2021.
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