A woman who suffered extensive injuries when a homemade bomb exploded at her Sydney home was the innocent victim of a row between criminals over drugs, police say.
Eight males aged from 17 to 20 have been charged in association with the bombing incident which left the 55-year-old woman with extensive burns to her face and body.
Police say the woman was inside her Canterbury home on June 8 when she noticed a fire on the balcony about 11:20pm.
The improvised explosive detonated when she tried to extinguish the fire.
She was rushed to Concord Hospital with burns to her face, hands, chest and legs, while a 19-year-old man also home at the time was uninjured.
Police say the homemade bomb was “crudely manufactured” and incorporated aerosol cans with flammable substances, fire lighters, sparklers and thumbtacks.
After a two-month investigation, nine males aged between 17 and 20 were arrested on Thursday, resulting in charges against eight of them.
Five were charged in relation to the explosion of the homemade bomb, while three were charged with drug and criminal group activity offences.
They are scheduled to appear in NSW courts on Thursday and Friday.
Detective Superintendent Paul Devaney alleged the incident was an act of retribution after drugs were purportedly stolen from a criminal gang, with the woman caught in the crossfire.
“We’ll allege this act at Canterbury was one of mistaken identity, with the 55-year-old female having no involvement in any offence whatsoever,” Det Supt Devaney said.
“These men are facing extremely serious charges … they’ve made a number of bad decisions that have resulted in life-changing experiences for the victim.”
Search warrants were also executed at three homes in Zetland, Concord and Fairfield, where officers seized a number of items including clothing and phones.