Boy, 10, still traumatised after witnessing mother's attempted burning

Bail once again refused to men accused of trying to burn young mother alive in Zabbar

Matthew Agius
6 September 2017, 12:47pm
Two men accused of attempting to burn a woman alive in her car as her 1- year-old son looked on have once again been denied bail.

Film industry worker Alvin Pullicino, 26 and his cousin, 21 year-old ELC employee Gavin Spagnol are charged, as principal and accomplice respectively, with attempted murder and attempted arson after the July 12 attack, thought to have been motivated by a family feud and the fact that the woman had provided financial assistance to her sister, Pullicino's ex-partner.

Police inspector Christabel Chetcuti told Magistrate Joe Mifsud that the child was still receiving trauma counselling.

In a previous sitting, she had explained that he was terrified that the aggressors would come back for them when they are released.

In a sitting last month, the victim had explained how Pullicino and Spagnol had ambushed her car and poured fuel over it, before opening the car door and splashing more fuel onto her. The woman had told the court how, after she and her son had managed to get out of the car, Pullicino had cornered the woman, wrapped a chain around her neck and threatened to set her alight with a lighter, but stopped short.

In today’s sitting, a police sergeant told the magistrate that a petrol can had been recovered from the street outside Pulicino’s house, minus its cap. A matching fuel can cap was found on the scene of the crime, he said.

He had searched the car in which Pullicino had arrived at the police station, finding a chain inside it. The car’s interior smelled strongly of petrol, he said. A lighter was recovered from the scene.

The men have been in custody since their arraignment, with the Criminal Court dismissing a subsequent bail request filed by Spagnol in August citing the fact that the child had not yet testified, amongst the reasons for this.

At the end of this morning’s sitting, bail was once again requested but again denied. 

Lawyers Franco Debono and Marion Camilleri are appearing for Spagnol, while lawyer Arthur Azzopardi is defending Pullicino. Lawyer Veronique Dalli is appearing parte civile for the victim.

The case continues in October.

Court reporter Matthew Agius is a Legal Procurator and Commissioner for Oaths. Prior to re...