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Entire house in ashes after alleged firebombing

<p dir="ltr">After migrating to Australia for a better life, one couple’s dream has been marred by the bad behaviour of one of their neighbours.</p><p dir="ltr">Appearing on <em>A Current Affair</em>, Syed and Shilebeth said they were subjected to racial slurs by said neighbour, before their dream home was allegedly firebombed.</p><p dir="ltr">“People say it’s just like material things - no, we built there day by day,” Shilebeth told the program.</p><p dir="ltr">The couple said they experienced life’s “ups and downs” during their time in their Lalor Park home in Sydney’s west, which they bought after meeting in their “college days”.</p><p><span id="docs-internal-guid-9428e03f-7fff-a236-c7cb-96b5861839df"></span></p><p dir="ltr">“It meant everything to us. This is a home that we worked for … this was our dream home,” Syed said.</p><p dir="ltr"><img src="" alt="" width="1280" height="720" /></p><p dir="ltr"><em>Syed and Shilebeth lost everything when their home burnt down in an alleged firebombing after they copped racial abuse from their next-door neighbour. Image: A Current Affair</em></p><p dir="ltr">But, the couple said they began having problems with their next-door neighbour, Trent Constantine, in the past few months.</p><p dir="ltr">“One Saturday he was just smashing the fence and I said, ‘Trent’ - his name is Trent - and I said, ‘why are you smashing the fence?’,” Syred recalled.</p><p dir="ltr">“He said, ‘this is none of your business’. I said, ‘no, this is our shared fence, you shouldn’t be smashing this fence’ and he didn’t stop it.”</p><p dir="ltr"><span id="docs-internal-guid-04cb66fb-7fff-c56d-7694-563604f20df4"></span></p><p dir="ltr">Later, in mid-January, Shilebeth filmed another encounter where Mr Constantine can be heard saying, “Go back to where you belong”.</p><blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p dir="ltr" lang="en">Tonight on A Current Affair, the ugly face of racism in our suburbs.<br /><br />If this isn't fiery enough, what happened next is beyond belief. <a href=";ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#9ACA</a> <a href=""></a></p>— A Current Affair (@ACurrentAffair9) <a href="">February 8, 2022</a></blockquote><p dir="ltr">After Shilebeth accused him of being racist, Mr Constantine replied, “No I’m not racist, I’m purist. You don’t belong here go back to your country. You illegal f***ing immigrant.”</p><p dir="ltr">But Mr Constantine didn’t stop there, arming himself with a knife and then drinking pig’s blood in front of Shilebeth, referring to Syed’s Muslim faith.</p><p dir="ltr">“It’s all good, in our country it’s tradition to lick the pork blood,” Mr Constantine said.</p><p dir="ltr">“What’s wrong with you?” she asked.</p><p dir="ltr">He went on to say he doesn’t like people who “do not belong in this country”.</p><p dir="ltr">“F*** off on your boat and go home to where you belong, because it’s not your country,” he said.</p><p dir="ltr">After the incident, Shilebeth called the police and went with officers to make a statement.</p><p dir="ltr">While she was at the station, Shilebeth received a devastating call from another neighbour who said: “Shelly your house is on fire.”</p><p dir="ltr">Syed, who was at work at the time, raced home to see their house alight.</p><p dir="ltr">“I parked my car in the middle of the street and I’ve seen in front of my own eyes, it was burning in front of my eyes - my house,” Syed said.</p><p dir="ltr">After their neighbour Gary heard glass breaking and an “explosion”, he went out to the front of his house and saw “flames through the trees” before calling Triple Zero.</p><p dir="ltr">“{It’s) really bad you know they’ve lost everything… unfortunately they weren’t insured,” Gary said.</p><p dir="ltr">Having stopped paying their home insurance in 2019 because they could no longer afford it, the couple have lost almost all of their belongings - including items for Shilebeth’s photography business - and have been forced to sell the land and move on.</p><p dir="ltr">“The only good thing is our pets (were) rescued,” Syed said.</p><p dir="ltr"><span id="docs-internal-guid-70b5a7d7-7fff-e0d9-d244-bc0a9809e4d9"></span></p><p dir="ltr">Though police are yet to charge anyone over the suspected firebombing, they have issued an arrest warrant for Mr Constantine for an alleged intimidation offence.</p><blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p dir="ltr" lang="en">Have you seen 44-year-old Trent Constantine? He is wanted on an outstanding arrest warrant. Known to frequent Lalor Park. Anyone with info please call Crime Stoppers 1800 333 000. <a href=""></a></p>— NSW Police Force (@nswpolice) <a href="">February 8, 2022</a></blockquote><p dir="ltr"><em><a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener">A Current Affair</a></em>’s Hannah Sinclair spoke to Mr Constantine’s mother, who insisted her son had nothing to do with the fire.</p><p dir="ltr">She also said he wasn’t around or on the run from police.</p><p dir="ltr">As for Siyed and Shilebeth, </p><p dir="ltr">“I’m still very resilient but it’s very hard at my age to get back on my feet, to start again - you know, rebuild the house,” Syed said.</p><p dir="ltr">A <a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener">GoFundMe fundraiser</a> has been set up by Shilebeth’s cousin, with the aim of raising $10,000 to help them get back on their feet.</p><p dir="ltr">As of Thursday, February 8, the fundraiser has received more than $8,000 in donations.</p><p dir="ltr"><span id="docs-internal-guid-c7559c70-7fff-3623-1a7c-7523c3ba420a"></span></p><p dir="ltr"><em>Image: A Current Affair</em></p>

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