Father found guilty of planning 2018 Worcester acid attack on three-year-old son, jailed for 16 years
A father has been found guilty of planning and organizing an acid attack on his three-year-old son at a Home Bargains store in Worcester in July last year and has been jailed for 16 years.
Five other men who were enlisted by the father were also convicted and jailed at the Worcester Crown Court this past week following a six-week trial.
According to the BBC, the father was not named to protect the identity of the victim. The five convicted co-conspirators were 22-year-old Norbert Pulko of Sutherland Road, London, 25-year-old Jan Dudi of Cranbrook Road, Birmingham, 27-year-old Adam Cech of Farnham Road, Birmingham, 42-year-old Jabar Paktia of Newhampton Road, Wolverhampton, and 42-year-old Saied Hussini of Wrottesley Road, London.
Amongst the five, Hussini, who reportedly tested the strength of the acid on his arm before the attack, was jailed for 14 years, while each of the remaining four were jailed for 12 years. A seventh defendant, 23-year-old Martina Badiova of Newcombe Road, Handsworth, was found innocent.
CCTV footage of the horrific attack, which unfolded on July 21, 2018, shows Cech, Dudi, and Pulko at the scene of the attack having followed the victim and his mother into the store from their home.
Cech can then be seen approaching the three-year-old in the store and squirting acid — which the judge called "obviously strong acid" that was probably from a car battery — at him from a small plastic medicine-type bottle.
After the attack, the trio calmly walked out of the store, with Pulko even stopping to purchase two items. Prosecutors at the trial said the Home Bargains attack followed what was a failed attempt at a school a week earlier, and that the father, who is from Wolverhampton but originally from Afghanistan, was the "driving force" behind the attack.
The court heard that his wife had left him in 2016 and taken their three children with them, and that the acid attack was carried out because the father wanted more access to the children and wanted to create evidence of injuries to show that his wife was an unfit mother after she rejected his application.
Handing down the sentences, Judge Robert Juckes QC told the accused they had carried out a "monstrous" crime. He said, "It is an extraordinary thing in this case that not one of you, most of whom have no previous convictions, most of whom with families of your own, at any stage stood back and asked the question of yourself and others: 'what are we doing?'"
Speaking after the hearing, the victim's mother said she "couldn't sleep for weeks" after the attack and had "repeat nightmares about what happened that day," reported the BBC.
"It shocks me to think that people could be involved with doing this to a defenseless child," she was quoted saying. "It has been extremely hard to accept that my three-year-old child has been attacked in such a way and that his father was behind this. How will I explain this to my son?"
The boy is said to have made a "good recovery" and is now living with his mother.
(Warning: Distressing footage) Watch the acid attack on the three-year-old here: