Melbourne Man Faces Court Over Alleged Fiery Assault Following Dispute Over Loud Music

Police near the scence of the incident after it happened on December 27, 2022.

Michael Gauci is facing serious charges after being accused of setting a woman on fire in an incident that prosecutors claim was prompted by a dispute over loud music. Details of the dramatic episode were revealed during a bail application at the Melbourne Magistrates Court.

According to the prosecution, on the evening of December 27, Gauci’s wife approached their neighbors, asking them to reduce the volume of the music playing in their townhouse courtyard, adjacent to the couple’s Werribee South property. The neighbors then temporarily left for the beach. However, upon their return, they resumed playing music. By this time, Gauci had arrived home, and it was noted that power to the home’s CCTV system had been interrupted.

As tensions escalated, Gauci allegedly confronted the neighbors, inquiring who had interacted with his wife earlier. When a woman identified herself, Gauci is said to have challenged her to a physical confrontation with his wife in the street. A scuffle ensued in the driveway, during which Gauci reportedly doused the victim with a liter of PrepWash, a petroleum distillate. Detective Senior Constable Matthew Wick stated that Gauci then used a blowtorch, causing the woman to catch fire, resulting in severe burns over 70 percent of her body. She was hospitalized for seven months and continues to undergo intensive rehabilitation, requiring multiple surgeries to improve her mobility and address cosmetic damage.

Gauci, who is charged with attempted murder, among other offenses, fled the scene with his family before emergency services arrived. His lawyer, Gideon Boas, noted that Gauci later arrived at the Werribee Police Station where he was apprehended, and a sawn-off shotgun was discovered in his vehicle. During the bail hearing, Gauci’s legal counsel argued that his client should be granted bail due to the potential delay until trial and his ongoing medical and psychological needs.

Magistrate Jarrod Williams expressed concern about Gauci’s mental state and propensity for uncontrollable anger, as detailed in the allegations. Gauci’s parents have offered their home as collateral for his potential bail, which Williams is set to rule on next Monday.

For individuals affected by such incidents, support is available through Lifeline on 13 11 14 and Beyond Blue on 1300 22 4636.

Chris Morris
Author: Chris Morris

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