Date: 6 Feb 2000
Place: Sheldon, Birmingham
Karenina Longe died from drinking sulphuric acid after going to see her former boyfriend.
Her former boyfriend was tried for her murder but acquitted. He said that she had drunk the sulphuric acid deliberately.
Her family said that they refused to believe that she had committed suicide.
She had drunk drain cleaner, Liquid Plumber, which was more than 93% sulphuric acid. She was taken to Heartlands hospital, but died the next day.
Her former boyfriend, who was from Zimbabwe, had been a laboratory technician but at the time was unemployed. He had been in the United Kingdom for 12 years.
The court heard that the former boyfriend had been angry because Karenina Longe had ended their five-year relationship.
In court he initially said that she had drunk the sulphuric acid accidently, but later said that she had been under stress and had deliberately drunk it.
The prosecution said that Karenina Longe would have suffered the torments of hell as the acid burned through her stomach and cooked her organs. The prosecution said that there were no signs that Karenina Longe had been forced to drink the acid and said that she could have been tricked into drinking it.
The court heard that her former boyfriend had waited 23 minutes before calling an ambulance and that before he did so, he had called a plumber to ask for advice. When he did call for an ambulance, the court heard that Karenina Longe's screams could be heard in the background. The former boyfriend told the paramedics that it had been an accident.
The former boyfriend sent his son with Karenina Longe in the ambulance and then went to several nearby pubs.
He visited Karenina Longe in hospital, but when he was told that she was going to die he went off to London with her cash card and spent £800 on drinks and nightclubs.
He handed himself in three weeks later saying that he had taken an overdose of paracetamol, but a doctor examined him and said that that was a lie.
The jury found him not guilty of both murder and manslaughter after deliberating for two days.