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Man Dies At Euthanasia Clinic After 'Acid Attack By Ex-Girlfriend'

Man Dies At Euthanasia Clinic After 'Acid Attack By Ex-Girlfriend'

A Belgian man sought out assisted suicide after being left with irreparable bodily damage when his ex-girlfriend allegedly attacked him with acid.

Mark Van Dongen was attacked by Berlinah Wallace - who was reported to have discovered that he had been seeing another woman. After over a year of severe physical pain and injuries which left him paralysed from the neck down, he was granted euthanasia in Belgium in January of last year.

Although Van Dongen ultimately died from assisted suicide, the Metro reports that prosecutors have accused Wallace of murder.

Berlinah Wallace is alleged to have attacked Mark Van Dongen with acid (Photo Credit: SWNS)
Berlinah Wallace is alleged to have attacked Mark Van Dongen with acid (Photo Credit: SWNS)
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She is reported to have told Van Dongen him: "If I can't have you, no-one else can."

The attack took place in Bristol in 2015, and left Van Dongen almost blind, and with 83 per cent body burns.

When the incident occurred, he ran into the street in boxer shorts screaming for help, and was later taken to hospital.

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Prosecuting QC Adam Vaitilingam told a jury at Bristol Crown Court that the incident occurred at Wallace's flat in the city.

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"On September 2 2015, the defendant had bought a bottle of sulphuric acid. She kept it in her kitchen," he said. "At around 3am in the morning on September 23, as Mr Van Dongen was sleeping in bed, she took the acid into the bedroom."

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"She then went into the bedroom and woke him up. She laughed and said 'If I can't have you, no-one else can', and she threw the glass of sulphuric acid into his face.

"It covered his face and parts of his upper body and dripped on to his lower body as he moved about.

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Mark Van Dongen lived with severe injuries for over a year after the attack (Photo Credit: SWNS)
Mark Van Dongen lived with severe injuries for over a year after the attack (Photo Credit: SWNS)

"Covered in burning acid, Mr Van Dongen ran out into the street in his boxer shorts, screaming for help."

His injuries were described as 'grotesque and horrific' by the QC, who added that his lower left leg was amputated.

The injuries left him unable to move anything other than his tongue for a long period of time, though Van Dongen never fully recovered the ability to move.

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As the Metro reports, Van Dongen eventually sought access to a euthanasia clinic, with consultants declaring that his was a 'case of unbearable physical and psychological suffering despite maximum medical support'.

He died after a catheter was inserted into his heart. Wallace denies murder and the charge of applying a corrosive fluid with intent.

Featured Image Credit: SWNS

Topics: Belgium, acid attack, Bristol, crime, UK

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Ronan O'Shea

Ronan J O'Shea is a freelance journalist from London who has written for titles including LADbible, Headspace, The Independent, National Geographic Traveller and New York Post. Contact him at [email protected]