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Girrawheen home invasion: Ninette Simons feels ‘humiliated’ PM didn’t say sorry during Perth day trip

Caleb Runciman
The Nightly
4 Min Read
Philip Simons (76) and Ninette Simons (73) say they feel ‘sad and humiliated’ the Prime Minister did not visit them on his trip to Perth.
Philip Simons (76) and Ninette Simons (73) say they feel ‘sad and humiliated’ the Prime Minister did not visit them on his trip to Perth. Credit: Andrew Ritchie/The West Australian

The elderly grandparents who were allegedly bashed and robbed in their home by three thugs — including a detainee released by the High Court — say they feel “sad and humiliated” that the Prime Minister didn’t visit them after flying into Perth on Wednesday.

Anthony Albanese said he had no plans to speak or meet with Ninette Simons and her 76-year-old husband Philip at a press conference on Wednesday at Kings Park.

Mr Albanese dodged questions when asked if he would apologise to the couple after former detainee Majid Jamshidi Doukoshkan, and two other men, entered her home posing as police officers before she was allegedly bashed last month.

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Speaking to The Nightly from inside the same home where she was allegedly bashed, the 73-year-old grandmother said even a phone call from Mr Albanese would have been appreciated.

“We do feel a bit sad and humiliated that we weren’t that important and on his agenda today, despite what we’ve suffered,” Mrs Simons told The Nightly.

“Everyone in our community is feeling what has happened.

“Everyone’s frightened because the detainees are walking freely in our community, he could have made some time, it would have been nice to be reassured.”

The couple said Immigration Minister Andrew Giles called them last week, where he was “very apologetic” but had not heard back from Federal MP Anne Aly about receiving support for upgraded security to their home.

Mrs Simons — who is a cancer survivor — said she received a generic email response after writing to Dr Aly.

The couple say they are reliant on funds from family and that they had only just upgraded security cameras to their Girrawheen home.

They are both still seeing doctors as a result of their horrific injuries.

“We have been left battered and bruised, traumatised in our own home of 43 years, and I’ve lost all of our life savings,” Mrs Simons said.

“We have worked hard, our whole life and paid taxes. I’ve never received government handouts except for now that we are pensioners.”

The couple say they remain scared by “every little noise” and that they can’t afford to move out of their home.

“We don’t want money, but we just want someone to do some security work for us,” Ms Simons said.

“Since we’ve lost everything now, we don’t know what to do.”

Philip Simons (76) and Ninette Simons (73).
Philip Simons (76) and Ninette Simons (73). Credit: Andrew Ritchie/The Nightly

Mr Simons said he felt politicians had forgotten about them and were instead “blaming” each other for the alleged bashing.

“It’s not about us now... I don’t know where we are at the moment, it’s been nearly three weeks now,” he said.

When asked whether he would apologise to the victims, Mr Albanese instead said his “heart goes out” to Mrs Simons and “no one should be the subject of violence such as Ninette Simons had to put up with”.

“I’m not currently scheduled to visit Ninette Simons. I’ve made it very clear that Ms Simons has been subjected to a terrible crime. The allegations are now before the court for the three alleged perpetrators,” he said.

Mr Albanese defended his Immigration Minister Andrew Giles’ for his delegate’s failure to overrule the board’s advice that the former detainee did not require an ankle bracelet by pointing to Greens and Coalition senators.

He said they had delayed legislation that would jail people who refused to cooperate in their deportation proceedings.

Mr Doukoshkan was released into the public last year following the High Court’s landmark ruling that found the indefinite detention of 149 detainees was unlawful.

He was in court in February over alleged curfew breaches — which were later dropped — and, despite initial claims by the Government, Commonwealth prosecutors did not oppose bail.

Majid Jamshidi Doukoshkan - who has been charged over the Girrawheen home invasion
Majid Jamshidi Doukoshkan - who has been charged over the Girrawheen home invasion Credit: facebook/supplied

The accused was wearing an ankle bracelet in February, but after the Federal Government’s protection board determined it was unnecessary, he was not being tracked at the time of the home invasion.

Joel Leslie Painter had been on the run since the shocking attack on April 16 that left the grandmother fearing for her life after she was allegedly bashed as her husband lay tied up on the floor.

He was arrested on Sunday and faced Joondalup Magistrates Court on 5 charges on Monday.

He is accused, along with former immigration detainee Doukoshkan and Seyed Younes Tahami, of posing as police officers to gain entry into the Simons’ northern Perth home where they allegedly stole about $200,000 of jewellery.

A fourth person, Emmy Signo, is accused of driving the trio to the couple’s home on the night of the attack. She has also been charged with impersonating a public officer, aggravated robbery and aggravated burglary.

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