A 25-year-old man has been sentenced to 16 years in jail with a four year extended licence after dousing an aspiring model and her cousin with acid as they sat in a car.
John Tomlin was sentenced at Snaresbrook Crown Court on Friday, having previously pleaded guilty to two offences of grievous bodily harm (GBH) with intent.
Resham Khan and Jameel Mukhtar suffered severe burns on their faces and bodies following the attack on Khan’s 21st birthday in June last year.
The cousins had “no previous dealings” with their attacker and Judge Sheelagh Canavan previously described the assault as “somewhat random”.
As the acid burned their skin and eyes, they lost control of the vehicle they were in and crashed. With their clothes burning off them, the pair ran into the road begging for help. They were eventually taken to a local hospital by a passing motorist. 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”.
Both victims and their families were in court as the sentence was passed.
Speaking outside court, Khan, who carries lifelong scars to her face, particularly her eyes, said: “I don’t think this is about name calling, I think it’s about setting myself aside from other types of people in life.
“I hope to push through and get on as if it never happened.”
She has suffered from severe depression and anxiety as a result of the attack and has tried to take her own life.
“My 21st birthday turned into a day where my face was taken away from me,” she said.
“No matter what his sentence may be these injuries will affect me for the rest of my life.”
She thanked all the medical staff and police who have helped her.
DC Paul Newton said: “This was a horrific incident that took place on Resham’s 21st birthday.
“We would like to give our thanks to those who did come out to make sure they were getting doused in water, their injuries could have been far worse.”
Muhktar has permanent scarring to his head, neck and body, lost hearing in one ear, suffers from psychological problems since the attack and also wanted to take his own life.
He 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 said he was “angered” to see Tomlin in the dock and added: “It’s the first time I’ve seen him worried, he was like a child, a baby, like a little girl, he deserves that.”
When asked about the rising number of acid attacks, he said: “Something needs to be done about this, I don’t feel this was a strong enough sentence. This will carry on now.
“He should have been given life, he should have done the whole of his life in prison.
“If this was in America he could have been given the death penalty, that’s what he deserves.”