Friday 19 December 2014

Student 'ambushed friend with sulphuric acid in Katie Piper copycat attack'

Published 07/01/2014 | 14:52

A “jealous” university student threw acid in the face of her 21-year-old former friend in a copycat attack mimicking the scarring of model Katie Piper, a court has heard.

Data from the phone of Mary Konye, 21, allegedly showed how she stalked Naomi Oni from a shopping mall to her home address where the attack took place.

The prosecution today claimed Ms Konye knew her alleged victim had been badly affected by the attack on Ms Piper in 2008, which left her badly scarred and blinded in one eye.

Allegedly jealous of Ms Oni’s own good looks and after a falling out, Ms Konye disguised herself in a Muslim veil and threw sulphuric acid in her face, the court heard.

According to reports in the Evening Standard, Snaresbrook Crown Court heard how mobile phone records showed Ms Konye’s iPhone followed Ms Oni from the Westfield Stratford where she worked to Barking station, and then from a bus stop to near her home address in Dagenham, east London.

Gareth Patterson, prosecuting, said: “The phones of both young women were using the same cell site about the same time. The prosecution says that was because Naomi was being followed by the defendant and the defendant was the person who carried out the attack.”

Mr Patterson said the mobile phone data contradicted Ms Konye’s claim to police that she was “tucked-up” in bed in Canning Town, east London when the attack happened at 12.24am.

The court heard Ms Konye’s phone was tracked one minute behind Ms Oni’s phone and it was consistent with the defendant “stalking” her victim.

The court heard yesterday that Ms Konye threw the sulphuric acid in a copycat version of the Ms Piper attack after both women discussed the high-profile case.

The student was said to have been jealous of the victim’s good looks.

Ms Oni, 21, suffered serious burns on her face and chest, lost her hair and eyelashes and was left scarred for life.

After the acid was thrown she screamed and could smell her skin and hair burning, the jury heard. She ran home where her family tried frantically to wash it off.

But she lost the skin from her face, and has permanent scarring over her body, the court was told.

The court heard she left work at the Westfield shopping centre in Stratford, East London, at around 11.30pm. CCTV footage shows a figure in a niqab with only her eyes visible who “lingered, waiting to see the victim” and “tailed her home” walking a few steps behind her, Mr Patterson said.

Ms Konye, of Canning Town, East London, was arrested and told police Ms Oni was very attractive, but denied being jealous of her looks.

She denies throwing or casting a corrosive fluid with intent to burn, maim, disfigure, disable or do grievous bodily harm.

The case continues

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