Ex-boyfriend of Suffolk woman Adele Bellis has appeal over acid attack conviction refused
- Credit: James Bass
A Lowestoft man serving a life sentence for arranging a savage acid attack on his ex-girlfriend has failed in a bid to clear his name.
Beautician Adele Bellis, 25, suffered permanent scarring to her face and lost an ear after having sulphuric acid thrown over her.
Her embittered ex, Anthony Riley, 28, of Raglan Road, Lowestoft, was jailed for life for arranging the attack.
He was found guilty of conspiracy to commit grievous bodily harm, conspiracy to apply a corrosive liquid and false imprisonment during a trial at Ipswich Crown Court in October 2015.
Last year he won the right to appeal on a technicality, after top judges paved the way for him to challenge his convictions at the Court of Appeal in London.
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But on Thursday, at London’s Appeal Court, as he asked Lord Justice Davis to overturn his convictions claiming his trial was unfair, Riley failed in his bid to clear his name.
The judge said Ms Bellis was waiting at a bus stop in London Road South, Pakefield, on August 14, 2014, when an associate of Riley carried out the “horrendous” attack.
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Riley had previously arranged for another man to stab Ms Bellis in the face and had forcibly held her in his flat.
Lawyers for Riley claimed that a key witness had made a deal with prosecutors - which jurors were not told about.
As a result, the witness was not cross-examined by Riley’s legal team about the agreement and what it involved.
But Lord Justice Davis, sitting with Mr Justice Nicol and Judge Richard Marks QC, said Riley had faced a strong prosecution case.
“Apart from (the witness’s) evidence, there was other powerful evidence of his guilt,” he said.
“Riley was asking the jury to acquit him, despite over 20 separate coincidences” linking him to the acid attack.
He concluded: “The judge directed the jury to approach the evidence of (the witness) with caution.
“Our clear conclusion is that omitting to inform the jury and let them see the agreement would not arguably have made a difference.
“Permission to appeal against conviction is refused,” the judge concluded.