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