A mother whose face was hideously deformed by acid sprayed by her married lover appeared in court today and accused him of 'turning me into a monster'.
Speaking on the first day of Richard Remes's trial for attempted murder in Belgium, Patricia Lefranc said she was 'determined to look him in the eye and show the jury what he has done to me'.
The 48-year-old, who underwent 86 operations following the attack, added: 'I hope to convince the court that he did indeed want to murder me.'
Remes, 57, is said to have planned the sulphuric acid attack after Ms Lefranc ended their relationship just over two years ago.
Ms Lefranc told Brussels Assizes that December 1, 2009 was the day Remes 'finally destroyed my life.'
She said he was waiting for her as she emerged from a lift in the Brussels suburb of Molenbeek-Saint-Jean.
He sprayed the sulphuric acid, once referred to as 'oil of vitriol' by medieval European alchemists, all over her head and upper body, she told the court.
She said she was convinced she would die, but neighbours in a nearby building heard her screams and managed to get her to the burns unit of a nearby hospital, where she lay in a coma for three months.
Ms Lefranc said: 'I hope Remes is convicted of attempted murder, and not just for assault and battery with torture. He did not just want to hurt me, he wanted me out of the way. I just hope that I get to tell the court what I experienced, and how it hurt.
She said: 'When I look in the mirror, every fibre of my body reminds me of what happened. The doctors had me in an artificial coma for months.
'I lost the sight in my left eye, and hearing in an ear - my right ring finger was amputated. By the time I got to my eightieth operation, I stopped counting.
'But I know that I still have about twenty operations to go. The acid which he maimed me, is worse than a weapon of war. It still gnaws at me.
'My nose is quietly shrinking away and will eventually be replaced by a prosthesis. That will be the last and perhaps most difficult surgery.
'For three months I will have to wear a mask to hide the gaping hole in the middle of my face. Only then can the final prosthesis be implanted.
'That mask must be removed daily for cleaning. No, I will not handle that - a nurse will be doing it.'
Remes has apologised for the attack, denying that he meant to maim her. His defence is that he did not realise the sulphuric acid he sprayed would have such a devastating effect.