Berlinah Wallace jailed for life after ‘evil’ acid attack on ex-boyfriend Mark van Dongen.
Berlinah Wallace, the woman who threw sulphuric acid over her former partner who later died by euthanasia, has been jailed for life with a minimum term of 12 years at Bristol Crown Court.
Wallace had been acquitted of murder but found guilty of convicted of throwing a corrosive substance with intent after a month-long trial.
Mrs Justice Nicola Davies, sentencing, said the attack was “an act of pure evil”.
Wallace threw the liquid over engineer Mark van Dongen as he slept at her flat in Westbury Park, Bristol, in September 2015, and laughed as she told him: “If I can’t have you, no-one else can.”
The 29-year-old was in a coma for four months, and suffered extensive burns to his body. He was left blind in one eye, paralysed from the neck down and had to have his lower left leg amputated.
He died by euthanasia at a hospital in Belgium on 2 January last year.
The judge told Wallace: “Having carried out this horrific attack you then told lie after lie.
“When interviewed by the police you sought to place the blame upon Mark van Dongen, falsely alleging that he had poured the acid into the glass on your bedside table intending that you should drink it.
“It was an account which you gave in September 2015 and maintained throughout this trial.
“Not only did you make this wholly false accusation to the police and throughout your trial, you further sought to destroy the name and character of Mark van Dongen, alleging that he was the abuser in your relationship.
“Mark van Dongen is no longer alive. He was unable to defend himself against any of your accusations.”
However, the judge said she accepted the evidence of Mr van Dongen’s colleagues and father, who said the engineer was scared of Wallace.
“He was right to be so because he had some idea of what you were capable of,” she told Wallace, 48, who is South African.