A jilted wife emptied a kettle of boiling water over the head of her husband’s mistress, causing her ‘terrible burns’, a court has heard.
Monika Fourie, 34, is accused of pouring scalding water from a cup and then a kettle over Hannah Stokes as she sat on a sofa.
Miss Stokes began an affair with Fourie’s Royal Marine husband Wouter, 36, a South African, just a few weeks before.
Prosecutors said Fourie unexpectedly walked in on the pair at the marital home as they sat in the lounge.
She told them she was going to make a cup of tea but filled a mug with boiling water and poured it over Miss Stokes.
Fourie then poured the remaining water from the kettle over her, causing ‘terrible burns’ to her chest, neck and back, Plymouth Crown Court heard.
Jo Martin, prosecuting, said Miss Stokes was treated for second degree partial thickness burns down to her navel and had surgery for a perforated eardrum.
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Fourie, of Plymouth, Devon, denies causing grievous bodily harm to Miss Stokes with intent on October 24, 2015.
She has pleaded guilty to the alternative charge of causing grievous bodily harm without intent.
Miss Martin said there was no dispute that Fourie had poured the water over Miss Stokes, causing serious injury.
She told the jury the issue was what was going through her mind at the time and whether she had the intent to cause serious injury.
Miss Martin said Fourie and her South African-born husband, who had a daughter together, were having problems in their marriage.
He began a relationship with Miss Stokes in September 2015 and towards the end of the following month told his wife about it, believing their marriage was over.
Miss Martin said that Mr Fourie said his wife took the news calmly and they discussed money and childcare.
His wife then went to stay with a friend and her husband arranged for Miss Stokes to come over and watch a rugby match at the marital home.
But as they sat together in the lounge they heard a key in the lock and the defendant walked in.
Miss Martin said Fourie was ‘eerily calm’ and asked her husband to introduce them.
She said the defendant then said she was going to make a cup of tea and walked over to the kitchen area of the open plan room.
Fourie then asked Miss Stokes a series of questions, such as how old she was and whether she had children.
Miss Martin said the defendant asked her husband to go upstairs.
She added: ‘Mrs Fourie approached Miss Stokes with a cup of tea.
‘Miss Stokes presumed it was a cup of tea. It was not. It was boiling water and Monika Fourie threw it over her neck and chest area.
‘She started to scream with pain and instinctively moved to the corner of the room where she felt rightly or wrongly that she was trapped.’
Miss Martin said that Mr Fourie came downstairs to see his wife then walk over with the kettle and pour water over Miss Stokes.
The defendant emptied the water over her head and chest, Plymouth Crown Court was told.
Miss Martin said that Miss Stokes ran from the front of the house but was attacked again by Mrs Fourie, who left through the back door and circled around.
The defendant pulled her rival’s hair, the court heard.
The barrister added: ‘Monika Fourie maintains that she has no memory of the events of that night.’
She said that prosecution and defence psychiatrists had agreed that Mrs Fourie was suffering from ‘adjustment disorder’ as she struggled to come to terms with the end of her marriage.
Miss Martin said that could have led to an acute stress reaction.
She said the experts had differing views on whether Mrs Fourie had the capacity to form the intention to cause serious harm.
Judge Paul Darlow, giving preliminary directions, told the jury that Mrs Fourie was suffering from anxiety and depression.
She was allowed to sit in the well of the court with a friend rather than in the dock.
The trial continues.