‘It was a disaster’: Father’s anguish after Mandurah family trashes home

A former Mandurah resident who provided free accommodation to a Dawesville family left homeless after a house fire says they trashed the house and fled, leaving him with a $28,000 bill.

Alpha Homestay operator Vimalprakash Vijaya said he was contacted by a woman in January via a private booking website, who asked for cheap accommodation. 

She told Mr Vijaya that her wife had cancer and they were victims of a recent house fire in Dawesville, sending a Mandurah Mail article and a fundraising website page as proof. 

“I thought, ‘Poor girl, I better help her’,” he said. 

The father-of-two, who now lives in Wilson, said he felt sorry for the family and agreed to let them stay in a Kelmscott home he used as part of a tour package. 

“She said she didn’t have much money so I just told her not to worry about it,” he said. 

“The home, owned by my business partner, has been vacant for sometime so we thought it was fine to have them stay until they got back on their feet.

There were worms everywhere.

Vimalprakash Vijaya

“We just asked them to sign an agreement that included a small bond and they could stay for a few months.”

Mr Vijaya said the family stopped returning calls shortly after they moved into the property. 

After several failed attempts at contact, Mr Vijaya said the woman returned his call and said the family was moving to Melbourne, but would return to the house soon.

“That’s when I thought something wasn’t right and had to go check out the property,” he said. 

Ninety eight people are good, then you get two like this.

Vimalprakash Vijaya

Mr Vijaya said he visited the property on January 30 to find it trashed.

“It was a disaster,” he said. “There were worms everywhere.

“They had smashed everything….poured about two litres of engine oil down the drain and splashed it on the roof.

“Police found blood, needles and syringes. The wooden floor and back fence was damaged. I had to dispose of every single piece of furniture.”

Mr Vijaya said they stole his electrical items including his $2000 stereo system, television, microwave and DVD player. The damage, he said, amounted to $28,000.

Mr Vijaya wants to warn other home owners. 

“It’s made me so sad,” he said. “Ninety eight people are good, then you get two like this.  I just hope they don’t do this to someone else.”

A WA Police spokesman said the investigation was ongoing.