Beautician 'saw smoke coming from her body' after acid attack


A beautician has described seeing smoke coming from her body after she was doused in acid while waiting at a bus stop.

Adele Bellis, then 22, lost an ear, is partially bald and was left with "life-changing" permanent scarring following the acid attack at a bus stop in her home town of Lowestoft, Suffolk, on August 14 last year.

She was already permanently scarred from a knife attack in the street four months earlier.

Prosecutors at Ipswich Crown Court say both attacks were organised by her former partner, Anthony Riley, 26.

In a video interview played in court, she said she was talking on the phone when a man walked past with his face covered and carrying a Lucozade bottle.

She added: "He got behind me and this bottle spilled liquid all over me. At first I thought oh my God he's messed up my hair.

"After two or three seconds my skin just burned and I knew it was acid.

"I remember I was smoking, I was just crying and shouting 'I'm burning, I'm burning'."

She said that the top she was wearing dissolved and holes appeared in her jeans.

Passers-by poured water over her and people rushed from their houses with towels to cover her wounds before calling an ambulance.

"It's all a bit of a blur," Miss Bellis said.

"My hair was falling out. I was just hysterical. That affected me more, seeing all my hair come out."

Describing the knife attack on April 29, Miss Bellis said she was returning from a trip to the cinema with Riley when he led her down an alleyway where she saw a masked man, allegedly co-defendant Leon Thompson.

"The man jumped on Anthony and he didn't really do much," she said.

"I turned around to see what was happening and this guy stabbed me.

"Anthony chased after him and kicked him to the floor. Looking at it now, he's a big man who does boxing and the way he's hit me in the past, he didn't really do an awful lot.

"I screamed and was bleeding and he came over to me and let the man get away

"It took him a little while but eventually he rang the ambulance."

She said that Riley suffered a "stupid little slash on his foot" in the scuffle.

"It was nothing," Miss Bellis said.

Prosecutors say father-of-one Riley pretended to chase Thompson away and had arranged for him to inflict a minor injury to avert suspicion.

Prosecutor Andrew Jackson said that, not content with the permanent scarring caused by the knife attack, Riley recruited another man to pour sulphuric acid over her.

It is alleged Riley forced Jason Harrison, who owed him money, to do it. Harrison has already admitted his part in the conspiracy, jurors were told.

Before Harrison carried out the attack, Riley allegedly demonstrated the strength of the acid by dropping a live mouse into the liquid.

Mr Jackson added: "After their relationship ended, Mr Riley became consumed with jealousy at the prospect of her becoming involved with another man. He decided to control her by disfiguring her."

Miss Bellis described him as a jealous and controlling partner who would often force her to have sex in public places.

She said: "I was scared of him, he was always threatening me and forcing me to sleep with him."

"I didn't want to be with him but I was scared to say I didn't want to be with him."

Riley, of Raglan Street, Lowestoft, denies false imprisonment, conspiracy to apply a corrosive liquid and conspiracy to cause grievous bodily harm with intent.

Thompson, of Alma Road, Lowestoft, denies wounding with intent, having a knife in public, conspiracy to apply a corrosive liquid and conspiracy to cause grievous bodily harm with intent.