Katie Piper's acid attacker to be released from life sentence after serving only 9 years
The 34-year-old 'Strictly Come Dancing' star had even attended his parole warning the board that she would be absolutely devastated if he was brought back to the streets.
Katie Piper's acid attacker will be released from his life sentence soon, crushing her hopes that he will live out his life behind bars. The parole board made the choice to release Stefan Sylvestre who had left Piper scarred for life as they felt he was no longer a danger.
Their decision has sparked a lot of outrage and even though he permanently damaged Katie, he is to be released only nine years after being handed the life sentence. The 34-year-old 'Strictly Come Dancing' star had even attended his parole warning the board that she would be absolutely devastated if he was brought back to the streets. Despite this, the officials seem to agree that he was no longer a danger to the public and is likely to be released within weeks.
Their decision also came in spite of the fact that three experts advised them to move Sylvestre to an open prison before being considered for release. Their decision was not taken well by people and many were extremely upset at their choice to release him.
As reported by the Mirror, Harry Fletcher who is the director of Victims' Rights Campaign shared, "This looks like another extraordinary decision by the Parole Board. In cases like Katie’s involving violence, all victims will be extremely anxious and frightened about the release of attackers. It is essential the parole conditions offer total protection to the victim and further evidence must be provided by the Minister for Justice as to why the Parole Board thinks that the public is safe from this offender".
"Unusually, Katie read out her own victim impact statement which shows her determination to keep him behind bars. Ordinarily, a written statement is read out as it is a traumatic experience for victims to attend the hearing held in the prison," he continued.
The horrific incident occurred in the year 2008 when Katie was 24-years-old. Sylvestre, on the orders of her jilted former boyfriend Daniel Lynch, threw Sulphuric acid at Katie when she was in North London. The former model had to have around 40 operations to treat her burns. She also had to wear a plastic face mask and resorted to alcohol abuse while suffering from depression.
At the trial of Lynch and Sylvestre, a judge dubbed the duo as "the face of pure evil". However, during Sylvestre's parole hearing which took place on July 16, the board was told how Sylvestre now "displayed empathy for the victim and expressed remorse and shame for his action" and also showed a "desire to live a law-abiding life in the future". According to the offender manager, offender supervisor, and prison psychologist, the 30-year-old man would "benefit from a period in open conditions" before being considered for release.
The only person who recommended his release was a forensic psychologist who was instructed by his legal team. The offender manager admitted that he felt that Sylvestre had "not always been open and honest and there were inconsistencies in his account of the index offense and his background". As per the summary which was provided to the Mirror by the board chair it revealed that there were other concerns which had been raised.
They said his "future plans were unrealistic and it was not sure he would be able to lead a crime-free lifestyle and resist negative influences of his peers. The forensic psychologist told the panel there were factors which would protect him from returning to offending and a criminal lifestyle, including his improved relationship with his family. There was evidence that he had avoided negative influences in prison".
"He was not impulsive, he had good skills, self-control and was motivated to maintain the change that appeared to have taken place. He has not been involved in drugs in prison and has completed relevant offence-focused work to challenge and change his attitude and thinking," the summary stated.
A spokesman for the parole board said, "We can confirm a panel of the board directed the release of Sylvestre following an oral hearing. Our decisions are solely focused on whether a prisoner would represent a significant risk to the public after release. The panel will have carefully looked at a whole range of evidence, including details of the original evidence and any evidence of behavior change. We do that with great care and public safety is our number one priority."
The MoJ shared, "Our heartfelt sympathies are with Katie for the ordeal she has suffered. Acid attacks are abhorrent. Public protection is our priority and while we understand public concern, it is vital that we respect the independence of the Parole Board". Sylvestre will be subjected to a license which bans him from having any contact with Katie and Lynch. Lynch is also serving a life sentence in jail.