Woman's freckles melted off her face after brother-in-law attacked her with boiling water during row over pet rat
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A woman's freckles melted off her face after her brother-in-law poured boiling hot water over her during a row over her pet rat.
Charlotte Foster suffered first and second degree burns at the hands of her fiancé's brother Ben Queen after a row about her poorly rodent.
The row kicked off on 4 August 2021, when Charlotte, 29, confided in Ben, 28, a fellow rat owner, about a trip to the vets she'd taken with her pet rat Ruby.
"I mentioned that the vet had given me medicine for Ruby and then he called me stupid for giving a rat medicine," she explained.
The pair argued via text before Charlotte, looking for an apology, went to his house later the same day.
"To this day, I wish I had never visited him," she admits.
Their face-to-face chat about the pet turned unexpectedly violent when Ben poured freshly boiled water from a kettle over her shouting: ''Take this you b***h".
''It all happened so fast," she says.
"All of a sudden, I felt this scorching sensation on my head, ears and neck.
"He continued to pour the water for a minute as I screamed for him to stop - I've never felt pain like that."
Running to the bathroom, Charlotte jumped in the shower fully clothed and tried to cool her body down with cold water as Ben's mum called an ambulance.
Charlotte ran to her see her mum Nicola, 58, where she was treated by paramedics.
Nicola then drove her daughter home, where her fiancé, Ben's brother, was waiting with the police.
Charlotte was taken to Cumberland Infirmary Hospital, Carlisle, for treatment for severe burns to her head, neck and shoulders for four hours before going home.
Three days later, she was transferred to Newcastle's Royal Victoria Infirmary, Newcastle, Northumberland, to their specialist burn unit.
The attack also left her unable to see from her left eye for 38 hours, as well as leaving 'painful' blistering on her chest, ear and the left side of her face.
"The physical damage was horrendous and the pain left me wanting to end it all," she admits.
"I was horrified when I looked in the mirror as my freckles had started changing colour.
"Within the first month, they turned from brown to black and fell off.
"My partner, Sam would be there - having to clean them up as I just cried.
"Growing up with freckles isn't always fun as you get teased, but as an adult I'd learnt to embrace them.
"Now they're gone - my face looks so different which is a constant reminder of the attack."
Ben was arrested that day and released on bail.
After pleading guilty to causing grievous bodily harm on 10 January of this year at Carlisle Crown Court, he was handed a 21-month jail sentence as well as a five-year restraining order.
Charlotte, a full-time carer, said: "We'd been a tight knit family before all this happened - none of it makes sense even now."
Charlotte says Ben's jail sentence will 'never be enough for the mental and physical turmoil' she's been left with.
"I still have nightmares about it all and little things such as a kettle switch can make me flinch," she said.
Charlotte hopes her story will show other burns victims 'that there's hope'.
She said: "We sadly lost Ruby in November 2021, she was so special but I was glad that she wasn't suffering anymore.
"I'm still not 100 percent, but Ben being jailed is a start."