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Fashion student guilty of acid attack on former partner

A jury at Bristol Crown Court acquitted Berlinah Wallace of murder but found her guilty of throwing a corrosive substance with intent.

A fashion student has been acquitted of murdering her former partner, who died by euthanasia after she threw acid over him as he lay sleeping.

Berlinah Wallace, 48, meticulously researched the effects of sulphuric acid before purchasing a bottle and throwing it over Mark van Dongen, 29, in September 2015.

Bristol Crown Court heard that Wallace – described as controlling, jealous and vindictive – attacked the engineer at her flat in Westbury Park, Bristol, after he left her for another woman.

Mark Van Dongen with his father Cornelius (Family handout)

Mr van Dongen was left grotesquely scarred, lost the sight in his left eye, his lower left leg had to be amputated and he was paralysed from the neck down.

A jury of 10 men and two women acquitted Wallace of Mr van Dongen’s murder or manslaughter but found her guilty of throwing a corrosive substance with intent.

The unanimous verdict was delivered on Thursday afternoon following 15 hours and 30 minutes of deliberations.

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