Nicole Evans is only 20 years old, but her life could be cut short after her fiancé allegedly doused her entire body in petrol, and lit her on fire on Monday.
The Tasmanian woman was rushed to the Royal Hobart Hospital to be stabilised, and was promptly flown to Melbourne’s Alfred Hospital’s burns unit for specialist treatment.
The burns 34-year-old Matthew John Davey is accused of inflicting to over 50 per cent of Evans’ body, including her face, are thought to be so severe she might not survive.
“Nicole remains in a critical condition, there’s been no change,” a spokesman from the Alfred told News.com.au on Thursday.
Police believe Davey set his partner on fire during an argument at approximately 11pm in an outhouse at a northern Hobart property, during which he also allegedly hit her in the face, and threw a can at her head.
“The dispute is being treated as a family violence incident, although there are no current family violence orders restricting the man and woman from being together,” a police spokesman told the publication.
According to The Mercury, Davey made a brief appearance at Hobart Magistrates Court yesterday, and pleaded not guilty to his charge of grievous bodily harm.
Davey also faced additional charges from April 2, when he was accused of depriving Evans and her mother of their liberty and assault.
He pleaded not guilty to all charges but did not apply for bail, The Mercury reported.
Davey's lawyer Cameron Scott applied to have the names of both parties suppressed from publication, but was successfully opposed by both The Mercury and the ABC, who argued the application was "misguided".
“Simply because a defendant doesn’t want his name published there is simply no reason for that to happen,” the publications' lawyer Mr Zeeman said.
Magistrate Reg Marron committed the matter to trial in the Supreme Court. The case was adjourned until June 13.
Police are urging any witnesses to come forward, and a police command bus has been set up on site.