Woman reveals hitman said "sorry" before he threw two litres of acid at her face
A woman who was lured into a fake Tinder date has revealed in gruesome detail how she was doused in acid, and described how her attacker said "sorry" just seconds before carrying out the heinous and cowardly crime.
Ellie Chessell, 29, was working as a holiday rep in Portugal when she was invited on a date and doused with two litres of the harmful substance. She suffered 50 per cent burns to her face, arms, chest and stomach during the horrifying and gruesome attack.
Ellie, who was working in a four-star hotel for the holiday company TUI in Alvor, Portugal, told the police that her attacker had uttered 'desculpe' which is Portuguese for 'sorry', just seconds before she was covered in the acid.
The alleged attacker, Edmundo Helder Rodrigues Fonseca, 44, and Ellie's 34-year-old ex-boyfriend Claudio Gouveia, who both come from Madeira, are awaiting trial for her attempted murder. According to prosecutors, Gouveia masterminded the entire attack on May 6 2017, after Ellie had walked out on him just two months earlier.
Since returning back to her hometown of Newport on the Isle of Wight, Ellie has been treated for post-traumatic stress disorder and told police: ‘I still remember what the man who attacked me said before he threw the liquid at me.
"He used the Portuguese word for sorry. To this day I still hear the word countless times whenever I close my eyes."
The court files on the vicious attack describe how staff at the Lisbon hospital where Ellie was treated demanded to see pictures of her former boyfriend as they were worried about the probability of him performing a second assault.
Ana Ferreira, head of the burns unit at Santa Maria Hospital where Ellie spent a month in recovery, wrote to local police saying that she was worried about the safety of both the victim and other staff members. In the letter, the doctor asked for photos to be given to hospital security guards in order to prevent a similar attack from happening again.
Ellie had believed that she was going to meet a man named Diogo for dinner when she was attacked near the hotel that she was working in. According to prosecutors, Diogo was actually Ellie's ex-boyfriend Gouveia, who had set up a fake profile on the dating app after he discovered that she had left Madeira for the Algarve.
Speaking about the effect that the incident has had on her career, Elli said: "I had a career with TUI that I enjoyed and fully expected to continue in this role, anticipating promotion," she explained in her compensation claim.
"For the foreseeable future, this has now been put on hold pending my complete recovery."
Gouveia was arrested at his home in Madeira on May 29 and has been held in custody ever since. He denies assaulting Ellie during their relationship and it's also believed that he will plead innocent to her attempted murder.