Sentencing a teenager for a spree of acid attacks in London that left victims with “life-changing injuries”, a judge has warned the violent use of corrosive liquids is a “serious and growing problem” in the UK capital.
At Wood Green Crown Court, Derryck John was sentenced to 10 and a half years in prison for hurling acid at six moped riders in a bid to steal their vehicles within the space of fewer than 90 minutes on July 13th last year.
“These were grave crimes. You attacked members of the public with what appears to have been an acid at the strongest end of the scale of acids,” Noel Lucas QC told the 17-year-old, who appeared in court via video link.
“You have not revealed the name of your accomplice or the precise nature of the corrosive fluid used or where you and your accomplice obtained it.”
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During his spree, John sprayed corrosive liquid in the faces of his victims, one of whom described having become a “totally different person” and unable to return to work as a result of the physical and mental scars they incurred in the attack, the court heard.
“One of the victims has lost 30 per cent of his eyesight which he will never recover,” said Ramesh Patel, of the CPS.
“Others described searing pain and burning at the time and have been forced to leave their jobs as a result of their injuries. Had they not been wearing helmets their injuries could have been much more serious.”
John, who was 16 at the time of the offences, pleaded guilty to six counts of throwing a corrosive liquid with intent to “disable, burn, maim, disfigure or cause grievous bodily harm”, two counts of robbery, and four counts of attempted robbery.
On the indictment, another unidentified person is listed as also having been involved in the attacks. John earlier denied the charges and had been due to stand trial, but last month pled guilty “on the basis that the acid was thrown to incapacitate the victims” and that “the other male involved was much older than me”, according to a note from the defendant read out by the judge last month.
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Had he been sentencing the Croydon youth as an adult, and if the defendant had been convicted after a trial as opposed to having admitted his guilt, Lucas said he would have handed John a 22-year jail term.
Stating he had personally seen in his work on the bench how “such offences have risen sharply in the last 12 months”, the judge said “It is clear … that the carrying and use of corrosive liquids is rapidly becoming a serious and growing problem” in the capital.
Breitbart London has reported on the alarming rise of acid attacks in the multicultural megacity now named the global capital for noxious liquid assaults, which saw a 74 per cent rise — from 261 to 454 — in just one year between 2015 and 2016.
With doctors reporting the volume of such crimes to be at “epidemic” level, police officers in Sadiq Khan’s London are now being equipped with devices designed for war zones so they can treat acid attack victims on the street.