Jury shown harrowing footage of engineer describing moment 'jealous lover threw acid on him leaving him paralysed'

A JURY were shown harrowing video footage of a hospitalised engineer describing the moment his “jealous” lover is alleged to have thrown acid over him.

Mark Van Dongen, 29, was left paralysed from the neck down, unrecognisable and all but blinded following the incident.

In hospital, Mark was interviewed by police and said he believed he had been attacked by girlfriend Berlinah Wallace, 48, because she was "jealous".

Burns could be seen on his chest and his voice was barely audible as he confirmed he was a Dutch national.

Mark confirmed he shared a rented flat with Wallace where they had lived for five years, and that he arrived at about 6pm when she was there.

He then told officers he had been asleep in bed when Wallace woke him up and said: "If I can't have you, no-one can."

He recalled there being a square plastic box with an inch of acid in.

"I was wearing just boxer shorts," Mark said. She threw acid. I was crying 'Help!' "I was running in the street. Neighbours took me into a house and called police."

Mark said Wallace bought the acid online and was insistent that it was in a 20cm by 20cm plastic box, about 10cm to 15cm deep.

When asked why Wallace threw the acid over him, he said: "It was because she was jealous."

Mark said he and Wallace had exchanged text messages before she returned to the flat around midnight, and said when she threw the liquid it hit his arm, face and chest, and that he did not know there was sulphuric acid at the flat.

Mark said: "She would have bought it. She always used my Lloyds banking account."

Two videos were shown from July 6 and July 28, 2016.

The second video was recorded after Mark had requested to speak to police again.

He said about a year before the alleged acid attack, Wallace had thrown boiling water over his right arm and he could prove so from medical evidence.

Mark could not recall what had upset his girlfriend, and said: "She came behind me when I was sitting on the couch, watching TV."

He told police they used to argue about the smallest things, including on one occasion when he bought coffee from Costa for his colleagues.

He said that when his bank statement showed he had paid to use a gym, Wallace accused him of cheating and they had a two-week row.

Mark said Wallace would hit herself in the face, and told him that if he left her she would call the police and say he had injured her.

He also accused her of hiding his passport so he could not go to a hotel or an airport, and that he went back to her after feeling sorry for her.

A neighbour who heard his cries for help on September 23 2015 recalled how he initially thought Mark was having a bad trip on LSD when he heard his cries.

Thomas Sweet had initially believed the sounds were foxes fighting, but then realised it was someone shouting "Help me."

He followed the noises and saw a man dressed only in his underwear who appeared to be in agony.

Mr Sweet said: "It seemed like he had paint chucked on him.

"He was talking about acid. I thought he had taken acid and was having a bad time.

"He was requesting a shower."



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He dialled 999 and was told to put Mark in the shower, and Mr Sweet reassured him they would not be going to the flat shared with Wallace.

Mark's eyes were very bloodshot and it looked like his skin had been bleached, the court heard.

Mr Sweet told the jury that Mark said: "That bitch did it to me. The police need to be there, she needs to pay."

Another neighbour, Dominic Wooding, lived upstairs from the shared flat and told the court that on September 23, 2015, he heard a man saying "Help me!"

He described Mark as looking as though he was covered in black paint, and "babbling and moaning" as he was put in the shower.
Mark told him: "My ex did this."

The re-trial continues.

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