By SAMANTHA TURNBULL email@example.com
RAY German is in a critical condition after being set on fire and stabbed in separate incidents 15 days apart.
Mr German, 47, was found screaming and engulfed in flames about 5.30pm on Sunday near the Lismore Hockey Club building at Humbley Oval.
The Lismore Tourist Caravan Park resident had been recovering from stab wounds he received in an attack on September 24. He is now in a critical condition at the intensive care unit of the Royal Brisbane Hospital with second degree burns to 45 per cent of his body.
Richmond Local Area Command crime manager Detective Inspector Steve Clarke said police were searching for witnesses as it was unknown how Mr German was set alight.
"We're treating this very seriously," he said.
But the exact circumstances surrounding the incident are unknown."
Det Insp Clarke said police were investigating whether the stabbing and burning were linked. "We can't confirm or discount that at this stage," he said.
Both incidents occurred during daylight and within one block of each other.
In the first incident, Mr German was stabbed and robbed on the corner of Dawson and Woodlark streets, near a recycling drop-off centre.
Then, 15 days later, he was set alight on the corner of Brewster and Uralba streets, also metres away from a recycling drop-off centre.
Mr German's neighbours, who were interviewed by police yesterday, said they were shocked he may have been attacked a second time.
Kathleen Edwards, Mr German's closest friend at the caravan park, said she could hardly believe it when detectives broke the news to her.
"I'm shaking like a leaf. It has totally freaked me out," she said. "How could both these things have happened to one bloke?"
Ms Edwards said Mr German would have had trouble defending himself because he had a serious illness.
"He can't stand up straight. He walks with a hunch," she said. "He was just starting to get better."
She said Mr German had children and was married to a Goonellabah woman who stayed at the caravan park a few nights a week.
His wife could not be contacted yesterday.
Ms Edwards said she could not imagine anyone having a grudge against Mr German, as he kept to himself.
"He is very quiet and stays inside a lot," she said. "He doesn't work. He lives by himself.
"He is very helpful. He'd borrow my phone and we would lend each other cigarettes or a bit of money before pay day.
"We were getting to know each other pretty well."
Anyone with information on Sunday's incident should contact Lismore Police on 66231599 or Crime Stoppers on 1800333000.
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