Engineer ‘wanted to die’ after ex-girlfriend threw sulphuric acid in his face, court hears

The girlfriend of an engineer has told a murder trial he said “I just want to die” after his former partner threw acid over his face and body.

Mark Van Dongen, 29, was left paralysed from the neck down, scarred and all but blinded by the incident in September 2015.

Bristol Crown Court heard that his ex-partner Berlinah Wallace, 48, told him: “If I can’t have you, no one else can,” before throwing sulphuric acid over him.

Mr Van Dongen ran out into the street in the Westbury Park area of Bristol, screaming with pain, before a neighbour took him to a nearby flat and called 999.

The Dutch-born civil engineer suffered 15 months of agony before dying at a euthanasia clinic in Belgium in January this year, the jury heard.

Wallace, who claims she thought she was throwing a glass of water over Mr Van Dongen, denies murder and applying a corrosive fluid.

Mr Van Dongen’s girlfriend Violent Farquharson told the trial he had come to her home on the evening of  22 September, before going to see Wallace.

“He basically said that he didn’t want to be with her, he wanted to be with me and he talked a bit more about going forward, about our relationship and what our goals were as a couple,” Miss Farquharson said.

“He said, ‘I’m going to go back to her flat, I’m going to see that she’s OK’.”

Mr Van Dongen told Miss Farquharson he would not return that evening but would see her in a few days.

He left to go to Wallace’s flat at 10pm and argued with the fashion student, who told him she would go and stay in a hotel, the court heard.

At about 3am on 23 September, Wallace allegedly shook Mr Van Dongen awake and threw acid over his face and body.

Miss Farquharson went to hospital after being informed by police that her boyfriend had been attacked.

“He was being rushed off to theatre so I saw him literally for a split-second,” she told the jury.

“He was crying out in pain so much that he didn’t know I was there.”

Asked if he said…

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