By Catherine Reid
An acid attack victim left blind after his girlfriend allegedly recruited her ex lover to throw sulphuric acid in his face has relived the moment he was attacked in court.
Daniel Rotariu was blinded and scarred for life after his girlfriend, Katie Leong, allegedly told her ex, Mark Cummings, to pour 96 per cent pure sulphuric acid on him as he slept.
Mr Rotariu appeared at Leicester Crown Court to give evidence yesterday (TUES) – where he was helped into the witness box by an assistant while carrying a white stick.
Daniel told the court he believed the attack – allegedly carried out by Mark Cummings – was ‘revenge’ for ‘stealing’ Katie Leong, 51, from Cummings, 46.
He described the moment acid was poured over his face, chest, arms and hands, saying he thought it was ‘boiling water’.
The court also heard how Daniel – who was in a relationship with Leong and previously lived with Cummings – tried to protect his face with his hands, but his attacker pulled them away.
In his initial police interview Mr Rotariu described having an argument with Leong when he got home from work, telling officers he was upset and told her to leave him alone.
He went to bed at about 8pm and woke up as someone took the cover off his bed and splashed him with a liquid.
Referring to a statement previously given by Daniel, Leong’s barrister, Judy Khan QC, said: “You said: ‘I was protecting my face with my hands.
“He touched me a little bit, he tried to pull my hands away from my face.
“It felt like boiling water, that’s how it felt.
“I don’t know who it was exactly, if he was a man or a woman I cannot tell, it felt like it was a man.
“I was thinking I was dreaming when I opened my eyes, so I closed them back’.”
“I don’t know who it was exactly, if it’s a man or a woman. It was like a man, how he was reacting.”
“My eyes started to go like fog. I went to the bathroom, I screamed.”
The court heard that another lodger at the property, called Alan, took Mr Rotariu to the bathroom to shower him down and shouted at Katie: “You’re crazy, what have you done?”
Both Cummings, of Waterloo Way, Leicester, and Leong, also from Leicester, deny attempted murder and a separate charge of intentionally inflicting grievous bodily harm.
The court previously heard how Cummings was recruited by his ex Katie Leong to launch the acid attack on July 27 last year.
Leong and Cummings dated until 2015, and by December 2015 Leong and Mr Rotariu were in a ‘deep relationship’.
Judy Khan QC added: “When asked why [you thought Mark Cummings did this to you], you said it was a long story.
“You said Mark wanted revenge because he loved my girlfriend [Leong] but she’s my girlfriend and he loved her.”
The trial continues.