Angela Surtees doused her husband in petrol after a fight at their Geelong home and threatened him with a cigarette lighter.
She wanted him to fear that he would catch fire. And then he did.
They'd been arguing since leaving her brother's engagement party where Daniel Surtees had been offended by remarks he thought people were making about him.
In the car he punched the dashboard and broke the centre console. At home he yelled at a skateboarder passing by and knocked over a rubbish bin, spilling its contents.
Neighbours heard the couple yelling for 20 minutes before Angela Surtees, 34, picked up a red jerry can of unleaded petrol and poured it over her 36-year-old husband as he sat in an armchair in their enclosed porch sunroom.
She lit a cigarette lighter and threatened him with it. And then the fumes around him ignited.
Daniel Surtees died in hospital on January 26 last year, 18 hours after sustaining burns to 80 per cent of his body.
Prosecutor Ray Gibson QC told Victoria's Supreme Court on Friday that Surtees hadn't intended to ignite the blaze, but had intended him to fear that he would catch fire.
She pleaded guilty to manslaughter on the basis she committed an unlawful and dangerous act by lighting the cigarette lighter in close proximity to the fuel.
A man driving past saw smoke coming from the house and pulled over. He saw Daniel Surtees naked and in pain on the front lawn. His clothes were still burning on the ground nearby.
Surtees told a triple-zero operator that she had been arguing with her husband and that they fought over the jerry can of fuel.
She said she had accidentally spilled the fuel and it ignited while he was lighting a cigarette.
Mr Gibson said the couple's family and friends said while they had loved each other, their relationship was volatile.
In 2017 Mr Surtees escaped a conviction for assaulting his wife. He hit her over the head with a toy vacuum and grabbed her around the neck.
In response she grabbed two kitchen knives and placed them against his neck, telling him to get off her.
Mr Gibson said Surtees' mother said she gave as good as she got, while her sister described them as being as bad as each other.
When interviewed by police, Surtees admitted her actions were reckless.
"It was eons beyond stupid," she told officers.
Her lawyers have requested two months to obtain psychological reports before Surtees is sentenced.
Australian Associated Press