A teenager and and his adult accomplice have been jailed for inflicting “life changing injuries” on two men with an acid attack.
Kaha Miah, 20, and a 16-year-old boy who cannot be named for legal reasons threw the corrosive substance at the victims after they approached a group of young people who were kicking their cars in the east London borough of Tower Hamlets.
After realising one of the vehicles was his, one of the victims went to confront the group and fearful for his friend’s safety, the other victim ran downstairs to join his friend, the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) said in a statement.
After a brief confrontation the teenage attacker took a bottle out of his bag, unscrewed the top and passed it to Miah, who unscrewed the bottle fully and said: “Have some acid”.
He then threw the contents into the faces of the two victims.
Snaresbrook Crown Court heard the first victim suffered burns to his face and burns to his shoulder. The acid melted his top. The second victim was hit in the eye. He lost 20 per cent of his vision and was left with severe facial burns.
The victims fled the scene and were later found by police officers from Tower Hamlets who were responding to the multiple calls being about the incident.
The pair were taken to a nearby hospital before they were transferred to Moorfield Eye Hospital.
As well as their physical injuries, the victims continue to suffer psychological distress as a result of the attack, London’s Metropolitan Police said.
The 16-year-old was arrested on the day of the assault last March. Miah handed himself in at a later date.
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Miah was sentenced at t to nine years’ detention in a young offenders’ institution for each count, to run concurrently. In October, the 16-year-old boy was convicted of two counts of applying a corrosive fluid with intent and having an offensive weapon. He was given six years’ detention in a Young Offenders’ Institution for each count, to run concurrently.
Detective Sergeant Richard Lewsley, investigation officer from Tower Hamlets CID, said: “Whilst this sentence provides a degree of justice for the victims and reflects how seriously the police and courts view the possession of noxious substances, I am acutely aware of the devastating impact that attacks of this nature have upon victims.
“The sentence received reinforces the police view that any incident of this nature, or any possession of these type of substances will be investigated thoroughly. I would urge anyone carrying or considering carrying a noxious substance to reflect upon the sentence received today. These substances can, and unfortunately are, used in the commission of crimes which have a huge and lasting impact on victims.”
Nicholas Coates from CPS London said: “Both defendants knew that the bottle contained sulphuric acid and the extreme damage it would cause if it was thrown. The victims have been scarred for life with serious physical and psychological injuries.
“When people use acid as a weapon, the CPS will work with the police to present a strong case in court, to make sure offenders face the consequences of their crime.”