Berlinah Wallace
Berlinah Wallace given life sentence for Mark van Dongen acid attack. Avon and Somerset Constabulary

A woman jilted by her boyfriend has been found guilty of a “sadistic and evil” acid attack that left him in such unbearable agony that he elected to end his life in at a euthanasia clinic.

Berlinah Wallace, 48, who threw a glass of sulphuric acid on her former partner as he slept, was jailed for life at Bristol Crown Court in the United Kingdom on Wednesday. Mrs. Justice Nicola Davies told Wallace it was "an act of pure evil".

She was cleared of murder but found guilty of throwing a corrosive substance with intent and sentenced to a minimum prison sentence of 12 years.

Nearly a year after his death, Mark van Dongen, 29, gave his testimony to the jury in November.

Van Dongen, 29, described in a video interview from his hospital bed how Wallace was consumed with jealousy and describing the attack, said: "If I can't have you, no-one else can. And she laughed and just threw the acid, it was a square box of acid with about an inch of acid in it. I only went back because I felt sorry for her."

Speaking via the video filmed shortly before his death, 15 months after the attack in September 2015, van Dongen described the unbearable agony he was suffering, before choosing to end his life at a euthanasia clinic in Belgium in January 2017.

In the attack, he was left paralyzed from the neck down, lost half of his left leg, the sight in his left eye and most of the sight in his right eye.

He decided to end his life after doctors told him that he would require a "lifetime of constant and dedicated care." Van Dongen died at the hands of an unknown doctor in Belgium.

Struggling to speak, he revealed that it wasn't the first time that she had attacked him. In 2014, Wallace threw boiling water over him after the pair had had an argument.

At the time of the 2015 acid attack, van Dongen, a Dutch citizen, had moved into a hotel and had started seeing another woman. But concerned about Wallace's welfare, he visited her and fell asleep at her house, which was when she threw the glass of acid over him.

He woke instantly, running out onto the streets screaming where neighbors tried to help him, before being taking to a specialist burns unit at Southmead Hospital.

Prosecutor Adam Vaitilingam QC told jurors: "The physical and mental suffering that he sustained from that calculated acid attack were what drove him to euthanasia. "Put simply, he could not bear to live in that condition. If that is right, we say, then she is guilty of murder."

Yesterday, Mr. van Dongen’s father’s victim impact statement was read to the court.

In it, Kess van Dongen said: “The fact that Mark, a 29-year old man, and recent graduate, decided to commit euthanasia, says something about the condition he was in and the amount of pain that he had been suffering. He said: ‘Dad, I am tired of fighting. I have suffered so much pain, I cannot take any more, please let me go.’”

He expressed his wish for Wallace to be sentenced to life, describing her as a “danger to society” before highlighting the impact it has had on him personally.

He said: “I feel like a broken man, completely drained, and the old Kees no longer exists.”