Ex-partner of Adele Bellis sentenced over acid attack in Lowestoft

16/10/2015

The former partner of a woman left with life changing permanent injuries in an acid attack has been sentenced today at Ipswich Crown court to life imprisonment for his role in arranging the attack, described by CPS East of England Senior District Crown Prosecutor Punam Malhan as "one of the worst revenge attacks we have prosecuted".

Ms Malhan said: "Adele Bellis, 22 at the time of the attack in August last year, was waiting at a bus stop in Lowestoft, Suffolk, when an unknown man threw a corrosive liquid - later found to be sulphuric acid - over her causing severe injuries.

"Witnesses described seeing Miss Bellis' hair and skin dissolving; she lost an ear, is partially bald and permanently scarred. This is one of the worst revenge attacks we have prosecuted in the East of England; it was organised by Anthony Riley, the ex-partner of the victim, and it resulted in life changing injuries.

"The prosecution case was that this was an attack orchestrated by Mr Riley, who had been carrying out a six month campaign of harassment against Miss Bellis. He was also responsible for arranging an earlier attack by his co-defendant, Leon Thompson, in which she was stabbed in the face.

"Not content with arranging this earlier attack, Mr Riley then decided to escalate his campaign of violence and arranged for Jason Harrison to throw acid over Miss Bellis, leaving her badly scarred."

Mr Riley was told he should serve at least 13 years in jail before being considered for release. His co-defendant, Leon Thompson, was sentenced to a total of 15 years. Mr Harrison was sentenced to four years and four months for his part in the acid attack.

Miss Malhan said: "I would like to praise Miss Bellis' courage in giving evidence against these men who have caused her so much pain and suffering. I hope today's sentences can give her some satisfaction that justice has been done.

ENDS

NOTES TO EDITORS

  1. Anthony Riley and Leon Thompson were both convicted at Ipswich Crown Court on 2 September 2015 of causing grievous bodily harm with intent and conspiracy to apply a corrosive substance between 1 May 2014 and 15 August 2014.
  2. Mr Riley was also convicted of false imprisonment on 15 March 2014 and Mr Thompson was convicted of wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm in relation to the stabbing on 29 April 2014.
  3. Jason Harrison and Daniel Marshall both pleaded guilty to conspiracy to apply a corrosive substance between 1 May 2014 and 15 August 2014. Mr Marshall was sentenced to six years for that offence.
  4. Mr Marshall also pleaded guilty to perverting the course of justice, between 15 August 2014 and 21 February 2015 by making a false statement to the police. He was sentenced to a year's imprisonment for that offence to run consecutively with the conspiracy offence, making a total of seven years' imprisonment.