A father in the U.K. is headed to prison after being found guilty of conspiring to plan an acid attack on his 3-year-old son in what prosecutors say was a bid to frame his ex-wife and win custody of the child.
As Sky News reported, the man and five others were convicted this week of throwing sulfuric acid on the boy’s face and arms in a July 2018 attack. Jurors in the trial saw surveillance video of the attack, which took place at a Home Bargains store in Worcester. The video showed the moment of the attack and the pained cries of the boy, who yelled out “I hurt” after being struck with the acid.
As the report noted, the boy’s parents had been locked in a custody battle and the father concocted the attack to make it look like the mother was unfit to look after the boy.
Prosecutors said the boy’s mother had taken him out to buy a party gift, and she was followed by a car with three other men who were part of the attack. After the woman took her children inside, the men followed closely behind and went into the store as well. The 3-year-old victim was sitting near a display of toy balls when a man walked by and extended his arm toward the boy with an object in his hand. Video then showed the boy running to his mother.
It was at that moment that the man threw sulfuric acid on the boy, Prosecutor Jonathan Rees said.
“That really is the hub of this case. That is the acid attack,” Rees said. “It is over in a split second.”
U.K. jury convicts father in acid attack on 3-year old son amid custody battle https://t.co/rjlaZUbxCI
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The jury found five men guilty of helping to plan the attack — Adam Cech, Jan Dudi, Norbert Pulko, Jabar Paktia, and Saied Hussini — and sentenced them to between 12 and 14 years in prison. The boy’s 40-year-old father was also convicted and sentenced to 16 years in prison. He was not named in order to protect the identity of the 3-year-old boy.
After the conviction, Judge Robert Juckes told the court that the men committed a “monstrous” crime that was carefully planned and executed.
“It is an extraordinary thing, in this case, that not one of you, most of whom have no previous convictions, most of whom with families of your own, at any stage stood back and asked the question of yourself and others, ‘What are we doing?'” Juckes said (via The Associated Press).
The boy is now living with his mother and has reportedly made a good recovery, Sky News noted.