‘Acid vic­tim ta pp ed out at­tacker’s name with his tongue’

Daily Mirror (Northern Ireland) - - SQUARE EYES - BY ADAM ASPINALL

AN acid burns vic­tim iden­ti­fied his al­leged at­tacker us­ing his tongue be­fore he died in a eu­thana­sia clinic, a court heard yes­ter­day.

Mark Van Don­gen, who was left paral­ysed from the neck down and vir­tu­ally blinded, claimed to dad Cor­nelius his ex Ber­li­nah Wal­lace threw the sub­stance over him as he lay in bed.

She at­tacked him after he started see­ing an­other woman, ju­rors heard.

Mr Van Don­gen told a court his son picked out her name us­ing let­ters on pa­per. He said: “I had pre­pared an A4 sheet of pa­per with the al­pha­bet on it.

“I called out all the let­ters and once he reached the right let­ter he stuck out his tongue.’’ Ju­rors heard 29-year-old Mark’s let­ters spelled “Ber­li­nah”.

Mr Van Don­gen added: “[Mark said] he was ly­ing in his bed and she was stand­ing be­hind his bed and she shouted, ‘She will not get my life. If I can­not have it no one else will.’ Those are the words I re­mem­ber.”

Mark was at­tacked at his home in Bris­tol in 2015. He ran out scream­ing into the street be­fore be­ing helped by a neigh­bour who di­alled 999.

After hospi­tal treat­ment Mark was trans­ferred to a care home in Glouces­ter, Bris­tol crown court heard.

Bel­gium-based Mr Van Don­gen said it was about four months be­fore he could com­mu­ni­cate with his son.

He told the court: “He wanted to re­turn to a nor­mal life.” The dad said he was un­happy with Mark’s treat­ment so trans­ferred him to a hospi­tal in Bel­gium.

But he told his dad he wanted to die after find­ing he was per­ma­nently paral­ysed. Mr Van Don­gen said: “He com­pleted his ap­pli­ca­tion for eu­thana­sia. He said, ‘My life has come to noth­ing. If I come with you there’s just a dif­fer­ent ceil­ing to look at’.” Mark died in Jan­uary at a Bel­gium clinic after 15 months of agony.

South African Wal­lace, 48, de­nies mur­der and throw­ing the acid with in­tent to do

harm. The trial con­tin­ues.

DAD Cor­nelius at court

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