An Italian man has been sentenced to 18 years in prison after setting fire to his pregnant girlfriend.
Polo Pietropaolo assaulted Carla Caiazzo on Feb. 1 after she said she no longer wanted to be with him, the Daily Mail reported.
The 42-year-old said he wanted to disfigure her “beautiful face” so that nobody else would want to be with her.
Caiazzo, 38, described the attack in court: “He was strangling me and I ... just kept saying ‘Polo, please, the baby girl, the baby!’” she said, according to the Mail.
A neighbor heard the fight and tried to step in.
“I saw him hitting her with his fists. I intervened to try to save her, so I pushed him into a wall,” Gennaro Tassieri said, according to Mirror Online.
Carla thanked Tassieri for his help, saying he had saved her life.
“But then [Polo] went to get a bottle out of his car and I could smell alcohol,” Tassieri added.
“I tried to get the bottle out of his hands but I couldn’t and the next thing I saw was Carla in flames,” he said.
Caiazzo was rushed to hospital with over 50 percent of her body covered in burns. She later said that she lost consciousness for a period of time after being set on fire.
Police detained Pietropaolo after he crashed his car while trying to flee. He was found to be under the influence.
“I screwed up. She betrayed me,” he told police.
The assault took place just three weeks before Caiazzo's due date. Caiazzo gave birth to the baby, Giulia Pia, who was unharmed, but Caiazzo has reportedly been left disfigured.
On top of Pietropaolo’s prison term, the court ordered him to pay approximately $265,000 to Caiazzo and $53,000 to his daughter. He was also banned from having contact with Giulia Pia.