Belfast Telegraph

Home News UK

Timeline: How acid attack case unfolded

Berlinah Wallace will serve a minimum of 12 years in prison for the attack on Mark van Dongen.

Berlinah Wallace has been jailed for life and ordered to serve a minimum of 12 years in prison for pouring acid over the face of her former partner, Mark van Dongen.

Here is how the case unfolded:.

2010: Mark van Dongen and Wallace meet online.


January: Mr van Dongen comes to visit Wallace in Bristol, later moving in with her.

October 10: Wallace pours boiling water over him.

Undated handout file photo issued by Avon and Somerset Police of bedding at the scene (Avon and Somerset Police/PA)


July: Mr van Dongen meets Violet Farquharson online.

August 15: He meets Ms Farquharson for coffee. Four days later they go to the cinema.

August 20: Mr van Dongen tells her that Wallace has attacked him.

August 21: He calls 999 reporting that Wallace has taken an overdose.

August 23: Wallace threatens Mr van Dongen in text messages.

August 27: She tells a counsellor she feels “depressed, angry, betrayed and anxious”.

August 28: Wallace begins making silent phone calls to Ms Farquharson.

Ladysmith road, Bristol, the scene where Berlinah Wallace, 48, threw acid at Mark van Dongen (Ben Birchall/PA)

September 1:

9.54am: Wallace makes her final of 14 silent calls to Ms Farquharson.

3.02pm: She emails Mr van Dongen saying her ex-husband has had a heart attack.

September 2:

5.32pm: Wallace purchases a litre of 98% sulphuric acid on Amazon.

8.12pm: Mr van Dongen calls 999 to report that Wallace is harassing him

September 3:

7.09pm: Police inform Wallace of Mr van Dongen’s 999 call.

7.35pm: She calls a mental health crisis team reporting that she has taken an overdose.

8.45pm: An ambulance takes her to hospital and she is discharged the following day.

September 13:

10.47pm: Wallace searches “how to talk to an ex-boyfriend about getting back together” and “what to talk about with an ex-boyfriend” on Google.

September 14:

7.31am: Wallace searches “can I die from drink sulphuric acid”.

7.41am: She visits a website reporting an alleged acid attack court case.

8.07am: Wallace views a website showing post-mortem images of a man who has drunk sulphuric acid.

A glass at the scene of the attack (Avon and Somerset Police/PA)

September 22:

10pm: Mr van Dongen arrives back at Wallace’s flat.

September 23:

12.28am: Wallace emails her counsellor saying she will not continue her university course.

2.06am: She calls ex-boyfriend Charles Ososami.

2.50am: Wallace throws acid over Mr van Dongen.

2.57am: Neighbours call 999 after finding Mr van Dongen in the street.

3.05am: Wallace calls Mr Ososami. Emergency services arrive at the scene.

3.16am: Mr van Dongen arrives at Southmead Hospital.

3.17am: Wallace calls Mr Ososami but is arrested by police a short time later.

3.41am: She is remanded in custody at Patchway police station and interviewed at 6.53pm.

11.49pm: Wallace is charged with throwing a corrosive substance with intent.

Court artist sketch by Elizabeth Cook of Berlinah Wallace in the dock at Bristol Crown Court (Elizabeth Cook/PA)


July 6: Mr van Dongen is interviewed by police.

July 12: Ms Farquharson speaks to him about the attack.

July 28: He is interviewed by police again.

November 22: Mr van Dongen is moved to a care home.

November 26: He is transferred to the Maria Hospital in Overpelt, Belgium.

December 1: Mr van Dongen applies for euthanasia.

Mark van Dongen with his father (Family handout/PA)


January 2: Mr van Dongen dies by euthanasia.

February 3: Wallace is charged with murder at Bristol Crown Court.

November 8: Wallace goes on trial at the court.

November 15: Her legal team makes an application of no case to answer on the murder charge.

November 20: Mrs Justice May dismisses the murder charge and the prosecution appeal the decision at the Court of Appeal.

November 29: The jury from the first murder trial is dismissed.


March 29: Court of Appeal judges rule the murder charge should remain.

April 23: A jury is sworn in at Bristol Crown Court.

May 17: Wallace is acquitted of murder but convicted of throwing a corrosive substance with intent.

May 23: Wallace is jailed for life and ordered to serve a minimum term of 12 years.

Daily News Headlines Newsletter

Today's news headlines, directly to your inbox.


From Belfast Telegraph