Xue Sandra Saura, 32, remains in a critical condition in the specialist burns unit at the Vall d’Hebron Hospital in Barcelona, suffering form burns to 80 per cent of her body. At midday today, scores of people gathered in protest against this latest act of domestic violence outside the town hall in Alcudia. A minute’s silence was held in condemnation of what happened early on Wednesday morning and also to wish her a swift recovery.
The young mother was doused in petrol by her 37-year-old partner at 7.15am after returning from a night out drinking. The day before she had told her boyfriend that she wanted to bring an end to their relationship, apparently because she had met another person.
The couple have a 22-month-old baby boy who she was able to save unhurt when she escaped, driving to her father’s nearby home, despite having suffered burns to nearly her whole body. Her father raised the alarm, as did one of their neighbours of the Spanish couple. She said that at first she thought that the property was on fire until she saw Saura fleeing the home screaming "kill me".
"I had no idea that she had been set alight. I thought she had been caught in a fire and I tried to help by grabbing a hose and dousing the flames that had caught the bedroom, but when I saw her running for the car screaming I realised what had happened.
The 37-year-old boyfriend apparently just stood by the door with a bottle of beer in is hand. By the time the Guardia Civil reached the scene, the boyfriend had tried to commit suicide. He had cut himself, although not seriously, and had also tried to hang himself. On seeing the approaching Guardia Civil vehicle, he threw himself in front of the Jeep, claiming that he wanted to die "because she has left me for another".
The acting Spanish justice minister, Rafael Catala, today also condemned the incident. "One act of domestic violence is one too many and we’ve got to step up the fight against this stain on society which does not seem to be going away." His sentiments were echoed by those who attended the protest in Alcudia.
The boyfriend is expected to appear before a preliminary hearing in Inca on Friday morning.