A woman accused of throwing scalding hot coffee in her ex-lover's face walked free after insisting she spilt it on him when he pestered her for sex on a sofa.

Dionne Knight, 48, of Thornton Heath allegedly threw the searing liquid over Ransford Bennett after he told her he was going to the Caribbean with another woman.

Mr Bennett said he woke up in agony after he fell asleep on the couch after celebrating Knight's birthday at her Zion Place home on November 14.

Ms Knight told the Old Bailey she had made coffee in her kitchen when her former lover grabbed her from behind and pulled her into the living room for sex.

She said: "He pulled my head back and said 'come, I want some sex right on the sofa'."

She said Mr Bennett slapped her in the face and walked back to the living room, where he sat down on the settee.

She told jurors she spilled the freshly-made coffee on Mr Bennett's face and left arm when he came back into the kitchen and again tried to drag her towards the sofa.

She was cleared of causing grievous bodily harm with intent and a lesser count of causing grievous bodily harm at the Old Bailey on Thursday

In her closing remarks to the jury, prosecutor Alex Kettle-Williams said: "You must be sure this defendant is guilty before you can properly return a verdict.

"You may agree with me that it is not difficult to agree that Mr Bennett suffered grievous bodily harm.

"Did this defendant, in the first instance, unlawfully assault Mr Bennett?

"The main difference between count one and count two is the issue of intent.

"The Crown's position is quite clear: that this was not an accident."

But defending, Roland Jones said: "The acts of the defendant have to be unlawful for them to be criminal.

"If you believe that it was an accident or that ts must have been an accident then you have to find Ms Knight not guilty.

"Our position is that this was an accident and it is our case that it is impossible here for you to conclude otherwise."

Ms Knight denied wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm and a lesser charge of unlawul wounding.