Man 'plotted to disfigure ex-girlfriend in acid attack', court told
A jilted boyfriend hatched a plan to " horrifically disfigure" his ex-girlfriend first by having her stabbed in the mouth and later doused in sulphuric acid, a court has heard.
Beautician Adele Bellis, then 22, lost an ear and was left with "life-changing" permanent scarring following the attack at a bus stop in Lowestoft, Suffolk, on August 14 last year.
Witnesses told police they had seen smoke coming from Miss Bellis's skin after the assault.
It was the culmination of a six-month campaign by her former partner of seven years, Anthony Riley, 26, prosecutor Andrew Jackson told Ipswich Crown Court.
He allegedly previously arranged for co-defendant Leon Thompson, 39, to stab Miss Bellis in the face and posted a revenge porn sex video on Facebook in a bid to humiliate her, the prosecutor said.
Mr Jackson added: "After their relationship ended, Mr Riley became consumed with jealousy at the prospect of her becoming involved with another man. He decided to control her by disfiguring her."
It is claimed Riley organised for a balaclava-clad Thompson to attack Miss Bellis in the street on April 29.
Not content with the facial scarring caused by this, it is said Riley then sought to hire somebody to carry out the acid attack.
"When these attempt to control her did not have the desired influence, he decide to go even further and exact revenge in the worst possible way," Mr Jackson said.
He added that Miss Bellis had worked on cruise ships and as a beautician and was "proud of her appearance and looks".
Riley offered one drug addict, John Green, £2,000 to attack her but he refused when he realised what was involved, the court heard.
Eventually another man, Jason Harrison, who owed Riley money, agreed to do it. Harrison has already admitted his part in the conspiracy, jurors were told.
Riley, of Raglan Street, Lowestoft, denies false imprisonment, conspiracy to apply a corrosive liquid and conspiracy to cause grievous bodily harm with intent.
Thompson, of Alma Road, Lowestoft, denies wounding with intent, having a knife in public, conspiracy to apply a corrosive liquid and conspiracy to cause grievous bodily harm with intent.
Miss Bellis was in hospital for three weeks after the attack, Mr Jackson said.
She completely lost her right ear and is partially bald.
She has undergone skin grafts and facial reconstruction surgery which is likely to continue throughout her life.
Mr Jackson said Miss Bellis and Riley had been in an on-off relationship for between six and seven years.
Miss Bellis said this relationship was abusive and controlling and Riley regularly forced her to have sex in cars in public places.
Mr Jackson said Riley subjected Miss Bellis to a campaign of harassment and abuse, including death threats.
She went to his flat on March 15 to end the relationship but he became violent and locked her inside for four hours, Mr Jackson said.
He added: "It was now plain to Mr Riley that she had no desire to be in a relationship with him. We say he was consumed by jealousy."
Riley continued see other women, fathering a child by one and telling police he was with another on the night of the acid attack.
He allegedly persuaded Miss Bellis to meet him and guided her down an alleyway.
Heroin addict Thompson is said to have stabbed her in the mouth, causing a serious facial injury.
The prosecution say Riley agreed to chase Thompson who would inflict a minor injury on him to remove suspicion.
After this incident, Riley posted a brief sex video made some months earlier with Miss Bellis on Facebook. Mr Jackson said the act was designed to cause "complete and utter shame and humiliation".
Riley later admitted a harassment offence in relation to the video.
He then started making plans for the acid attack, the court heard.
He convinced Harrison to carry out the attack and demonstrated the strength of the acid to him by dropping a live mouse into a jar of the liquid.
On the first attempt, Harrison poured the acid away and told Riley he had dropped it.
He tried a second time on August 13 but aborted this attempt so Riley allegedly told him he had "one last chance". A hooded and masked Harrison eventually completed the planned attack on August 14.
The trial is expect to last up to three weeks.
The court was shown a video interview given by Miss Bellis to police last September. In it she had a bandage wrapped around her head.
Describing the time she was locked in Riley's flat, she told officers: "He was just getting my face and yelling at me.
"He just got my face and pushed it against the wall and he just punched me. I thought he was going to stab me."
The case continues.