A woman left with life-long injuries after being doused in petrol and set alight by her ex-boyfriend four years ago has said she wants him to be released from jail.
Sigourney Coles was asleep at her home in Bracken Ridge, Queensland on July 25, 2017 when Matt James Nolan broke in and doused her in flammable accelerant fluid before setting her on fire.
Ms Coles was placed in an induced coma after suffering third degree burns to her hands and fingers – with nearly 90 per cent of her burns requiring skin grafts.
Sigourney Coles (pictured) was left with life-long injuries after being doused in petrol and set alight while asleep in her home by her ex-boyfriend
Matt James Nolan (pictured) broke into Ms Coles’ home and doused her in flammable accelerant fluid and set her on fire on July 25, 2017
Nolan, 30, was charged with attempted murder over the attack, but has now pleaded guilty to a lesser charge of causing grievous bodily harm on Friday.
The Brisbane District Court heard Nolan was suffering from a severe schizophrenic episode at the time of the attack.
Defence Barrister Joseph Briggs said the case was ‘desperately sad’ for those involved.
‘I do wish to emphasise this is a very unwell man,’ the Courier Mail reported.
A photo of burned carpet and bed sheets from the scene where Ms Coles was doused with petrol and set alight
The Brisbane Courts heard Ms Coles (pictured) does not want her attacker to spend anymore time in jail
The night before the attack, Nolan had attended a barbecue at Ms Coles’ home and stayed the night before leaving the following morning.
The court heard Nolan returned two hours later at about 10.30am and silently set her on fire.
Nolan’s case was not heard in the mental health court at the time, as drugs affected his capacity to determine that his actions were wrong.
In the lead up to the attack, Nolan was repeatedly turned away from the emergency department when a new schizophrenia treatment made him feel worse.
He also self-medicated with methamphetamines, under the impression they would alleviate his ongoing hallucinations.
Ms Coles (pictured) was placed in an induced coma following the horrific 2017 incident
‘He feels terrible about it (the attack), he’s very regretful’, Mr Briggs said.
‘He seems to feel incredible confusion about why he did what he did still.’
Following the attack, Nolan was later tracked down by the police and arrested.
Distraught housemates helped Ms Cole in the aftermath of the fire, putting out the flames on her body with a garden hose after they heard screams coming from her home.
Leonii Grant described the horrific moment she woke to her friend’s screams and discovered her on fire, saying it was ‘on her face and everything’.
‘She was just on fire with all of her clothes and she was wearing flannelette pyjamas,’ Ms Grant told 7 News.
Ms Grant said in her panic she used a garden hose to extinguish the flames before she led her to the shower.
Ms Coles’ housemate Leonii Grant (pictured) described the horrific moment she woke to her friend’s screams and discovered her on fire, saying it was ‘on her face and everything’
A second housemate said she woke up to the ‘sounds of screaming’ before she found Ms Coles on fire in her blazing bedroom.
‘Her clothes were on fire, the carpet and her bed as well,’ housemate Phillipa Allanson told 9 News.
‘(She) was burning all down her neck, chest from her fingers all the way up (her arm) was very severely burned.’
Ambulance and police officers (pictured) were called to the home in Bracken ridge , Queensland in July, 2017
‘It just broke us, we couldn’t even be in the house while she was getting treated by the ambulance.’
Paramedics arrived to find Ms Coles in the shower, barely conscious, and she was rushed to hospital with burns approximately 10 per cent of her body.
Judge Vicki Loury reserved her final decision and will sentence Nolan next week in court.
Source: Daily Mail Australia | World News