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The trial continues in the Cartama acid attack Ñito Salas
'He laughed while we burned': Cártama acid attack victim gives evidence at trial of her ex-boyfriend
Crime

'He laughed while we burned': Cártama acid attack victim gives evidence at trial of her ex-boyfriend

The trial of 'El Melillero' continues in Malaga where the prosecution is asking for 51 years and 6 months' jail for five alleged crimes, ranging from double attempted murder to membership of a criminal organisation, as well as harassment, abuse and threats

Irene Quirante

Malaga

Tuesday, 21 November 2023, 15:32

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The man allegedly behind an acid on his ex-girlfriend and her friend in Malaga and left them with lifelong injuries watched and laughed as they panicked, a court has heard.

The trial for José Arcadio D. N., known as 'El Melillero', started on Monday 13 November in the Provincial Court of Malaga. The Prosecutor's Office is asking for 51 years and 6 months in prison for five alleged crimes, ranging from double attempted murder to membership of a criminal organisation, as well as harassment, habitual abuse and threats.

On 12 January in 2021, at about 2.10pm, El Melillero was driving a vehicle in which another of the defendants, J. J. G. R., also known as ‘Poti’, was a passenger. He drove past his ex-partner and her friend who were sat in another vehicle in Cártama and sulphuric acid was hurled at them. The two victims were rushed to hospital and suffered lifelong injuries.

The ex-girlfriend of El Melillero who took to the dock on Monday 20 November did not remember who hurled the acid, but told the court he laughed and watched "with a satisfied look on his face" as she and her friend panicked and pleaded for help. Prior to the incident, she had received continuos death threats since she broke up with El Melillero in December 2020, the court heard. They started a romantic relationship in May 2020, and by July, El Melillero had started insulting and abusing his ex-girlfriend, almost daily, she told the court. He always wanted to know who she was talking to, where she was and with who, the court heard.

She then moved from Malaga city to Cártama after the break-up so that he could not locate her, but "took it very badly", she told the court. The woman said she was constantly afraid and always had a friend by her side. "He always told me that he was going to kill me, it was continuous," she said. Despite the change in address, El Melillero constantly appeared, the court heard.

The day before the acid attack, on January 11, the woman was with her friend in Cártama and he showed up with another man. She told the court her ex-boyfriend overtook them and then shouted at her to roll down the car window, which she refused. El Melillero then pointed to the other man and said: "Look, this is the one who is going to take care of you", while the second man made a gesture of slitting her neck, the court heard.

Her friend also took to the stand. She could not recall who hurled the acid as she was looking at her mobile phone at the time but told the court that El Melillero had watched on and smiled as they suffered from the impact of the acid.

Protected witnesses

Two protected witnesses also testified on Monday after they saw the alleged incident happen. The first witness told the court they saw a bottle poured into the open window of another car. He then saw two young women get out of the second car shouting: "I'm burning, I'm burning".

The second witness tried to help the two women and phoned 112. He told the court he also saw the moment when a hand clutching a bottle appeared from the first car window.

El Melillero, who took the stand last Monday 13 November, told the court he "only wanted to scare" the victims and that it was his passenger who threw the acid, not himself.

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