12/03/2018 11:56 GMT | Updated 12/03/2018 16:45 GMT

Teenage Acid Attacker Derryck John Jailed For 10 Years

He was just 16 at the time of the attacks.

John was just 16 at the time of the attacks.

Derryck John, 17, from Croydon in south London has been jailed for 10-and-a-half years for carrying out a spate of acid attacks against moped riders in a bid to steal their vehicles.

Five separate male victims - all on mopeds - were targeted in less than 90 minutes in July last year.

During sentencing, Judge Lucas described the events of 13 July 2017 as “despicable and cowardly”. 

“These were grave crimes,” Lucas said. “You attacked members of the public with what appears to have been an acid at the strongest end of the scale of acids.

“You and your accomplice chose to attack members of the public who were going about their lawful business.

John caught on CCTV on the night of the attacks.

John, who appeared at Wood Green Crown Court via video link, carried out  “grave crimes”, according to Judge Noel Lucas QC. In his sentencing remarks, the judge said John’s actions were “despicable”.

Food delivery rider Jabed Hussain, 32, who works for UberEATS, was on his way home when he had his moped stolen and his face sprayed with liquid at around 10.25pm at traffic lights on Hackney Road. 

A CCTV still from the night of the attacks.

“I’m too scared to go back to work,” he told the Press Association at the time. “I’m really scared. I don’t know what to do. My wife, she’s scared. My family’s scared. They were asking me to leave that job, but I love that job.” 

Little more than 20 minutes after the first attack, at 10.49pm, a 44-year-old moped driver was sprayed with a liquid at the Upper Street junction with Highbury Corner in Islington. 


Then at around 11.05pm, police were called after attackers targeted a man in Shoreditch High Street, tossing a substance in his face. 

His injuries were not life-threatening and his moped was not stolen, police said. 

Then, within 15 minutes a corrosive substance was hurled at a man on Upper Clapton Road, causing “life-changing” facial injuries. 

The final assault was reported to police at 11.37pm, when another man was confronted as he sat on his moped in traffic in Chatsworth Road.  Liquid was sprayed in his face and his moped was stolen by the attackers, who then fled.

DS James Leeks from Hackney criminal investigations department said: “Derryck John did not think twice about using a life-changing and even potentially life-threatening substance against those who resisted his robbery attempts. Acid attacks ruin lives and have no place in our society.

“It beggars belief that anyone would be prepared to scar someone for life and leave them to live with life-changing injuries for the sake of a phone or a moped.

“We are working hard to keep the public safe and make the streets hostile territory for criminals ... We have a particular focus on the small number of criminals prepared to use corrosive substances to do so.”

The sentence was handed down at Wood Green Crown Court.