Acid attacker CLEARED of murder after hurling substance in boyfriend's face

The scorched bed where Mark van Dongen was sleeping

The scorched bed where Mark van Dongen was sleeping Credit Avon and Somerset police

A fashion student whose former boyfriend took his own life after she poured acid over him has been cleared of murder and manslaughter.

She threw a glass of acid over him after he left her for another woman.

Mark van Dongen, 29, was left paralysed apart from his tongue after the attack by Berlinah Wallace.

Days before, she had been given a police warning for harassing Mr van Dongen's partner, Violet Farquharson, 46.

In a video showing Mr van Dongen speaking from a hospital bed almost a year later, he told police he had started to see another woman but went to Wallace's flat that night because he felt sorry for her and because she had his passport. She was found guilty of throwing a corrosive substance with intent.

He said: In her darker moments, she bought a bottle of sulphuric acid.

In the his closing speech, prosecutor Adam Vaitilingam QC told the jury that Mr van Dongen had become fearful of Wallace since their relationship ended. South African-born Wallace will be sentenced next week.

Speaking outside the court, Mr van Dongen's father Cornelius van Dongen paid tribute to his son and "best friend". I hope that Mark can now rest in peace.

His injuries were so bad that the officer leading the inquiry, Det Insp Paul Catton, did not show the members of his investigation team the pictures.

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