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He Left His Girlfriend And She Sprayed Him With Acid So That He Wasn’t With Another Woman


By Based On a True StoryPublished 27 days ago 6 min read

Mark Van Dongen was a 29-year-old Dutchman at the time of the events. There is not much information about his biography, I am going to start by talking about his time in England.

Mark moved there to study at the University of Bristol and after graduation he began working as an engineer.

In 2010, Mark met on a dating website a designer 20 years older than him named Berlinah Wallace and soon they started a relationship.

In August 2015, Mark put an end to this courtship since the woman physically abused him, so much so that at that point she was already out of control.

The boy had his body marked by the scratches of the Berlinah and the most worrying thing was when one night, while he was sleeping, she poured boiling water on him.

In addition, she also used to hurt herself to blackmail the boy. When she hurt himself, she told him that if he left her, she would go to the police to report him for his injuries.

After the breakup, Mark met another girl and went on with his life, however Berlinah was not willing to let him go so easily.

At the beginning of September Mark called the police to report that his ex-girlfriend was harassing him and his current partner, but not only that, she threatened to take her own life if he did not return with her.

Although the police called Berlinah to warn her about her behavior, this didn’t help much because she continued to chase her ex. Mark told his father that he feared for his own life, yet no one could prevent the tragedy.

The facts:

On September 22, 2015, a man made a terrible emergency call. Apparently several people had woken up by the screams of a young man in his neighborhood.

When they looked out, they saw a boy screaming in his underwear on the street. The neighbors thought it was a strange joke, but they still decided to go outside.

As they approached, they realized that the boy’s skin was literally melting. Some time later it was known that his name was Mark Van Dongen

It seems that the night before Mark visited Berlinah in her apartment in Bristol to make her understand that their relationship was over. It is not very well known why the man decided to spend the night at this woman’s house.

At one point while Mark was sleeping, Berlinah got up, went to the kitchen, took sulfuric acid and poured it into a cup. Then she took that cup to the bedroom where Mark slept and after waking him up she said laughing. “If I can’t have you, then no one can.”

As soon as she said this phrase, the woman threw the cup with sulfuric acid on Mark’s face. The man experienced so much pain that the first thing he did was go out to the street to shout for help.

A woman named Nic White was awakened by the sound of her doorbell and also by the man’s screams.

Nic opened the curtains and saw the man in his underwear. According to her, it seemed to be covered in mud from the head to the shoulders.

Meanwhile, a man named Thomas Sweet left his house with a golf club. The screams were so loud and sharp that he confused them with the screams of the foxes. But Thomas soon realized that these came from the man who needed help.

As I said before, more neighbors took to the street to see what was happening. As they approached the man who was screaming, they realized that he was not covered with mud, what happened was that his skin was melting. That’s when they called the emergency services.

When the police and the paramedics arrived at the scene, they found Mark in a horrible state. Not only was he foaming through his mouth but he also had serious burns on his face, chest, shoulders, arms and legs. After giving him painkillers, he was taken to the hospital in an emergency.

In the ambulance Mark told the paramedics that he couldn’t see anything so in that same place they checked his eyes... that’s when they discovered that one of his irises had dissolved.

The young man was also able to tell them that his ex-girlfriend, Berlinah, was responsible for his injuries, but not only that, he begged them to notify the police since he was worried that this woman would attack his current partner. Fortunately, the agents found Mark’s girlfriend unharmed.

Berlinah, for her part, was arrested in her apartment while she was sitting quietly on her couch.

Mark remained in intensive care for months due to the severity of his injuries and could only breathe with the help of a ventilator.

Sulfuric acid damaged the lower part of his left leg to such an extent that it had to be amputated. The young man also lost his nose and one of his ears.

Even so, the agony didn’t stop. The acid continued to burn through the skin and muscle, even reaching the bones that were seriously affected.

Since his admission, Mark’s family moved to England for his care. Everyone says that when Mark’s father arrived at the hospital, his son’s condition impressed him a lot since he didn’t recognize him.

Mark’s suffering:

Mark was transferred from intensive care to the hospital’s burn unit.

His father spent the day sitting on the edge of his bed scratching him and moving his arms to try to take away the pain. At that time Mark only had movement in his mouth and tongue. From the neck down he was completely immobilized.

To communicate with his father, he took out his tongue and pointed out the letters of a board that the man had created with the alphabet. Weeks later he managed to regain his speech but, of course, his condition was getting worse and worse.

After this, he was transferred to a hospital in Belgium. There Mark had to be operated on for a chest infection that he developed as soon as he arrived. After the surgery, he could no longer regain his speech.

At this point Mark decided that to relieve his pain his life had to end so that as in Belgium this could be requested legally he did it and due to his state it was granted to him.

On January 2, 2017, Mark spent his last hours of life in the hospital with his father and, as he had requested, he stopped breathing that same night.

The trial:

The trial against Berlinah Wallace was held in May 2018. There it was learned that before the facts the woman looked on the internet for how to attack someone with acid and how the victims were left.

After this, Berlinah bought a concentrated acid bottle on Amazon and when the order arrived, she tried it in advance on a table to see how corrosive it was.

Berlinah was being tried for murder but her lawyer argued that it was Mark who requested her death from the doctors of Belgium, so she was not to blame for her death.

With this argument, Berlinah was acquitted of murder and manslaughter. She was only found guilty of throwing a corrosive substance with intent. For this reason, she was sentenced to life imprisonment with a minimum of 12 years in prison before being able to apply for parole.

During the reading of the sentence, the judge declared that Berlinah was manipulative, controlling and dangerous. Then he added the following:

“Your intention was to burn, disfigure and disqualify Mark so that he would no longer be attractive to any other woman.”

Kees van Dongen, Mark’s father, said in an interview the following:

“Mark was very brave when he faced the infernal pain and the disabilities that were inflicted on him, but in the end it became too much for him.

He died with dignity and will live in the hearts of his family and friends.

The judicial process was a difficult and emotional experience. I am very disappointed with the result of this trial. There are only losers in this case. I still hope that Mark can now rest in peace.”


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About the Creator

Based On a True Story

Hi everyone! My name is Marta and every week I write about true crime, always with an educational purpose.

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