Jealous ex-boyfriend paid for acid attack on 22-year-old beautician in Lowestoft, court hears

Police at the scene of the attack on London Road South, Pakefield.

Police at the scene of the attack on London Road South, Pakefield. - Credit: Nick Butcher

A Suffolk beautician was left with horrific injuries after her “jealous, violent and controlling” jilted boyfriend paid someone to throw acid over her, it has been alleged.

Adele Bellis, 22, who was described as being “proud of her appearance and looks”, was walking from her Lowestoft home to catch the bus to work when she was confronted by a masked man who “drenched” her with concentrated sulphuric acid, Ipswich Crown Court heard.

The acid landed predominantly on her face and head and burned into her skin and through her clothes causing “the most appalling and life-changing injuries,” said Andrew Jackson, prosecuting.

A witness at the scene described seeing smoke coming from Miss Bellis’s body and she spent three weeks in hospital undergoing skin grafts and extensive reconstructive surgery to areas of her body including her face, thighs and hand, the court heard.

Mr Jackson said that as a result of the alleged attack in August last year Miss Bellis lost her right ear and had been left partially bald and disfigured for life.

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He said that as well as the physical scars of the attack she had also suffered psychologically.

The court heard that on April 29 last year – a few months before the alleged acid attack – Miss Bellis’s “violent and controlling” boyfriend Anthony Riley had allegedly recruited 38-year-old heroin addict Leon Thompson to disfigure her by stabbing her in the mouth.

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On that occasion Miss Bellis, who Mr Jackson described as “being proud of her appearance and looks”, was attacked by a balaclava-clad man dressed in dark clothing in an alleyway.

Mr Jackson told the court that Miss Bellis, who had been in a relationship with Riley for six or seven years, had a job working on cruise ships and 27-year-old Riley had allegedly become “consumed with jealousy” at the prospect of her coming into contact with other men.

Following the knife attack, which left Miss Bellis with a permanent scar, she made it plain to Riley she didn’t want to be in a relationship with him and in “an act of pure revenge” he had posted a video of them having sexual intercourse on his Facebook page.

He said Riley later appeared in court for an offence of harassment and admitted posting the video on Facebook.

Thompson, of Alma Road, Lowestoft, and Riley, of Raglan Street, Lowestoft, have both denied conspiring to throw sulphuric acid at Miss Bellis with intent to maim or disfigure her between May 1 and August 15, 2014.

They have also denied conspiracy to wound Miss Bellis with intent to cause her grievous bodily harm between March 1 and April 30, 2014.

Thompson has also denied having a Stanley knife in an alleyway between Camp Road and Till Road, Lowestoft, on April 29 and wounding Miss Bellis on April 29, 2014, with intent to cause her grievous bodily harm. Riley has also denied falsely imprisoning Miss Bellis on or about March 15 last year.

The court has heard that Jason Harrison, of Princes Road, Lowestoft. and a fourth man Daniel Marshall, 38, of Rose Court, Haverhill, who was described as Riley’s driver, had admitted their parts in the acid attack on Miss Bellis.

Mr Jackson told the court that Harrison had owed Riley £10,000 and agreed to attack Miss Bellis in return for being let off a large chunk of the debt.

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