A 25 year old man has been jailed for 16 years after admitting intentionally causing Muslim cousins grievous bodily harm by throwing acid at them.
John Tomlin hurled the acid through both front windows of their car in East London last June.
Witnesses described seeing the victims “jumping around as if they were on fire” in the road as their clothing “literally melted off them on to the ground”.
Victims Resham Khan and Jameel Muhktar had been out celebrating Khan’s 21st birthday when they were attacked in Beckton..
The judge Sheelagh Canavan sentenced Tomlin to 16 years in prison as the injuries were “dreadful and life changing”. Canavan added: “It is becoming all too common an occurrence on our streets that members of the public are pouring water over people who have had acid thrown over them, as if this is some sort of fashionable assault that is being carried out.”
Tomlin was arrested after handing himself in to the police a month after the attack and said in a police interview that he was “hearing voices in my head”. The victims had “no previous dealings” with their attacker and Judge Canavan previously described the assault as “somewhat random”.
Ms Khan, who is a Manchester Metropolitan University student, suffered injuries to her face and neck and was left with damage to her left eye. She was an aspiring model and now she suffers from severe depression and anxiety as a result of the attack as she now carries lifelong scars and mutilation.
Khan’s birthday “turned into a day where my face was taken away from me”. I have been looking at myself in the mirror it upsets me, it brings back the incident on the day, it doesn’t look like me,” she added in her victim impact statement
Mr Mukhtar, 37, had to be placed in an induced coma, has permanent scarring to his head, neck and body and has lost hearing in one of his ears. He also suffers from depression and has tried to take his own life. “I get flashbacks and am really worried to leave my house, constantly looking over my right shoulder fearing attacks,” he added. “I am mentally and physically scarred for life. I can’t even have a relationship. It’s enough dealing with myself.”
Speaking outside court, Mr Muhktar branded Tomlin an “animal” and a “coward” and said he “deserves the death penalty”. “The sentence isn’t long enough, my life has finished, I’m in continuous pain, I can’t sleep and I can’t eat,” he added. “He should have been given life; he should have done the whole of his life in prison.”
Helen Taylor, of the CPS, said “it was an appalling attack that left the victims with physical and psychological scars”. “This case serves as a warning of the harm acid can cause and that those who use it as a weapon can face significant prison sentences,” she added.