The Malta Independent 6 December 2021, Monday

Updated: Man who attempted to burn woman, child in car charged with attempted murder

Gabriel Schembri Friday, 14 July 2017, 11:07 Last update: about 5 years ago

A 26-year-old man from Zabbar was arraigned before the Court of Magistrates today charged with the attempted murder of a woman and her ten-year old boy while another 21-year-old man faced charges of complicity.

The two men, Alvin Pullicino and Gavin Spagnol were arraigned before Magistrate Ian Farrugia this morning following an incident which appears has to do with a quarrel between two families.


The incident occurred on 12 July and according to local media reports the 26-year-old man tried to set the woman and her child on fire. Reports said the man approached the vehicle in which there was the woman, aged 28, and the child, and began splashing fuel on the car. The man later chased the woman with a lighter and a chain, and ran away as another man approached to help out.

Alvin Pullicino, was charged with attempted murder and attempted arson. He was also charged with causing slight injuries due to chemical or flammable liquid which was poured on the woman.

Inspector Cristabelle Chetcuti explained that the victim is the sister of Pullicino's former partner and the accused and the victim, have a history of conflict.

The inspector told the court that for the past couple of years, there were various reports filed between the two families, of the accused and the victim. On Wednesday, there was another report and the police decided to go for the arrest.

Back in 2004, Alvin Pullicino had attacked a certain Keith Formosa and a police report was filed. Spagnol's conduct, however, is clean.

Franco Debono, who appeared for the accused men, said that in light of the clean criminal record, the two should be presumed innocent and due to the fact that no witnesses were brought so far, the court should not find any difficulty in letting them go. He said that the worst accusation is attempted murder, but they should be given bail with conditions as no one was rally injured in the incident.

Veronique Dalli, who appeared parte civile, said that this was not the case, as Pullicino had tied a chain round the victim's neck and had already poured fuel on her.

The inspector said that even the accusation of attempting such an act before a ten-year-old child should be taken very seriously. 

The parents of Spagnol were present in the hall when the two men pleaded not guilty to the charges.

The magistrate ruled that the men should not be granted bail and they were to be remanded in custody as there is fear they might temper with evidence. “I will give you the advice, to calm down. If things don't calm down, it can only get worse,” the Magistrate told the accused and their families.

Inspector Cristabelle Chetcuti led the prosecution.


Andrew Saliba and Veronique Dalli appeared parte civile while lawyers Franco Debono and Marion Camilleri appeared for the accused.

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