Woman cleared of murdering ex-boyfriend in acid attack

Mark van Dongen pictured with Berlinah Wallace in happier times. Credit: Family

A woman has been cleared of murdering her ex-boyfriend after he he took his own life by euthanasia following an acid attack.

Berlinah Wallace threw a glass of 98% proof sulphuric acid over Mark van Dongen saying “if I can’t have you, no one else can”.

The 29-year-old was left in a coma for four months, suffered extensive burns covering large areas of his body, was left blind in one eye and partially sighted in the other, paralysed from the neck down and had to have part of his left leg amputated after developing an infection.

He spent more than a year in hospital before being discharged into a residential care home and was later taken to Belgium where his life was ended by euthanasia.

A trial at Bristol Crown Court heard his application for assisted suicide was authorised by the courts in Belgium which recognised his “unbearable physical and psychological suffering”

The jury 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.