A FATHER convicted of plotting an acid attack on his three-year-old son at Home Bargains last year has been jailed for 16 years.
The man, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was one of six men found guilty and sentenced to a combined total of 78 years at Worcester Crown Court today (Wednesday) following a six and a half week trial.
Five other men were jailed alongside the 40-year-old. Saied Hussini, 41, of Harlesdon, London, was sentenced to 14 years in prison while Jabar Paktia, also 41, from Wolverhampton was sentenced to 12 years in prison.
Norbert Pulko, 22, of Sutherland Road, London, Jan Dudi, 25, of Cranbrook Road, Birmingham and Adam Cech, 27, of Farnham Road, Birmingham, were each sentenced to 12 years behind bars.
Martina Badiova, 22, of Newcombe Road, Birmingham was found not guilty of the charges.
The youngster was looking at footballs with his brother when Adam Cech sprayed acid on him at around 2.45pm on Saturday, July 21, the court heard.
Following the incident, the boy immediately ran to his mother who could not understand why her son was so distressed and started to look around the immediate area to see if something had fallen and hurt him.
With the assistance of staff in the shop she called for the emergency services; and the boy was treated at the scene by paramedics before being taken to hospital where he was treated for serious burns to his arm and face. He has since been discharged but was left scarred for life as a result of this attack.
Speaking after sentencing, Supt Damian Pettit said: “This was a horrific attack on an innocent young boy, whose scars will prove a constant reminder of that awful day. I am pleased that justice has been served today and that six perpetrators will spend a combined total of 78 years in prison.
“Acid attacks are rare, particularly so in the county of Worcestershire and for a three-year-old boy to be the victim of such an attack is inconceivable. It is hard for the family, the officers, and the community to comprehend how a family member could organise an attack of this nature on such a young child.
“The officers working on the initial investigation were exceptionally fast and thorough in their enquiries, working through the night to make the first arrest within 12 hours of the attack. They did not stop at this and continued to gather intelligence until seven people were arrested and charged.
“All the officers involved have shown great dedication throughout the investigation and I am very proud of these officers for their hard work.
“I would like to take this opportunity to thank them for their efforts, and to thank the local and wider national community for sharing far and wide the CCTV image appeal that helped to track down those pictured.
“I would also like to reassure the community we will work hard to ensure Worcester remains a safe place to work, live and to socialise.
“It will take a great deal of time for the young boy and his family to come to terms with what has happened and we will continue to support them in moving on from this ordeal and re-building their lives.
“We hope that now the perpetrators are behind bars, the family can start to focus on the future, and I think I can speak for everyone at West Mercia Police in saying we wish them a healthy and happy future.”