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Acid attack victim ‘had injuries from past assaults’

Mark van Dongen was left with ‘gashes’ around his neck and torso inflicted by his girlfriend Berlinah Wallace, Bristol Crown Court was told

An engineer ‘murdered by a jealous ex-girlfriend’s acid attack’ had injuries on his neck and torso showing how she’d attacked him before, a court heard.   

Mark van Dongen was left with ‘gashes’ around his neck and torso inflicted by his girlfriend Berlinah Wallace, Bristol Crown Court was told.

She is accused of throwing sulfuric acid in Mark’s face causing such serious injured he died by euthanasia 15 months later.

Wallace denies charges of murder and throwing a corrosive fluid with the intention to burn, maim, disfigure, disable or do GBH.

Prosecutors claim Wallace carried out the attack out of jealousy after Mark began seeing another woman, Violet Farquharson.

Violet today told Bristol Crown Court she met Mark van Dongen via a dating website around the end of July, 2015,

She told the jury: ‘I did see injuries on him. He had gashes on him, a gash around his neck and gashes on his torso as well.

‘He said she attacked him. He was quite off the cuff about it.’

Ms Farquharson said when Mark was at her flat they received 14 silent calls and he got a new phone.

She said there came a time when Mark told her he was finally telling Wallace it was over between them, and he stayed out overnight on September 22.

Wallace (depicted in a court illustration) is accused of throwing sulphuric acid in Mr van Dongen's face, a charge she denies 

Wallace (depicted in a court illustration) is accused of throwing sulphuric acid in Mr van Dongen’s face, a charge she denies 

In the early hours of the next day police told her Mark had been taken to hospital.

Ms Farquharson told the jury: ‘They (police) took me to hospital to see him.. He was in theatre. He was crying out in pain. He said he wanted to die.’

Mark remained at Southmead Hospital for the next 14 months, with Ms Farquharson visiting him almost every day.

She recounted how Mark was then transferred to a Gloucester care home but was taken to a Belgium hospital where she visited him the week before Christmas.

Though he was very depressed it was a nice visit, she said, and they talked about spending Christmas 2017 together.

But after she returned to Bristol she was called by Mark’s brother, who told her Mark had died on January 2 this year.

Shaun Groves, a criminal intelligence analyst, said police found two photos of Ms Farquharson on Wallace’s iPhone.

Analysis of her laptop computer revealed an Amazon purchase record for sulphuric acid on September 2, 2015, as well as later web searches such as ‘What happens when you swallow sulphuric acid’ and ‘Can I die from drinking sulphuric acid.’

There was also a record of sulphuric acid-related court stories online.

The case continues.

 

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Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


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