WARNING, DISTRESSING CONTENT: A brave Queensland teenager has stared down her former boyfriend as he was convicted for dousing her in petrol and setting her alight.
Kyeesha Finemore was left comatose and fighting for life, with burns covering almost her entire body.
She survived horrific injuries and has spent two years recovering, but on Thursday prepared to face the man who left her with terrible scars.
During an argument in 2016, her boyfriend Brae Taylor Lewis, 17, doused the teen in petrol outside their home in Marsden, Logan, before he set her alight. She was lucky to survive.
“I remember being in scorching pain after the flames were put off,” Kyeesha told reporters outside court.
“I was in an induced coma for about 12, uh 24 hours … I was in hospital for about a week and then because my heart was so weak I couldn’t go for a surgery.”
Two years on, the scars remain – those she will carry for the rest of her life. There is still pain, but it’s not only physical.
“There’s days that I walk out of my house and I have to walk straight back in because I don’t want to be stared at,” Kyeesha said.
“I don’t see that you could do something so horrific to someone that you love.
“If he could do it to someone, someone that was so close to him, he could do it to anyone.”
But the young woman wouldn’t give up, and neither did her family.
“I guess it’s been really distressful. The whole court case has brought up a lot of pain and nightmares,” her mother Melissa Cook told 7 News.
Lewis’ defence claimed he thought the jerry can was closed when the threw it, and never intended to set Kyeesha alight, accidentally igniting the petrol fumes surrounding her.
The jury took less than two hours to convict him. Lewis was charged over the malicious act with intent to cause grievous bodily harm.
“It’s a lifetime for her. It’s not just a black eye or broken jaw,” Ms Cook said.
Her daughter is trying to remain positive despite the trauma.
“You just gotta remind yourself, you know, you’re going to have bad days always, but you can get through it,” Kyeesha said.
Lewis will return to the Beenleigh District Courthouse on Friday to be sentenced.
When the guilty verdict was read out in court, there were lots of tears and emotion from both sides of the courtroom.
Kyeesha hopes her story will encourage others suffering domestic violence to seek help.
If you or someone you know is suffering from sexual or domestic abuse, don’t suffer in silence, call the National Sexual Assault Helpline 1800 RESPECT: 1800 737 732 any time of day or night.