New Zealand Herald

May 11, 2002

Lover's attack earns 6 years' jail

New Zealand Herald

A 33-year-old woman who set fire to a young man who wanted to end their relationship was sentenced in the Auckland District Court yesterday to six years' jail.

The court heard that Vivian Eve Northover planned the attack - which targeted the 19-year-old's face - for revenge and left him alone, unable to see and burning in her Parnell apartment.

The victim was admitted to intensive care for four days with "sickening" burns.

Michael Lloyd, for Northover, said she was known at work as "the kind, sweet person around the office". She had no record of violence or anti-social behaviour and was at a total loss to explain the attack.

Judge Simon Lockhart, QC, said it was "cruel, callous and deliberate".

Last month, Northover pleaded guilty to disfiguring the victim with intent to cause him grievous bodily harm.

Prosecutor Kevin Glubb said both Northover and the victim, whose name is suppressed, shared the same workplace and had been in a relationship that ended last year.

Although the young man had tried to let Northover down softly, she had asked a male colleague to beat him up, Mr Glubb said.

She wanted his face ruined.

The "hit" never happened but on March 15 she invited the victim over, the prosecutor said.

When the young man arrived, Northover doused him with methylated spirits and set it alight.

Judge Lockhart expressed disappointment that no one had warned the victim of his danger.

©Copyright 2002, NZ Herald