Teenager Detained for 10 Years for Acid Attack in London

Published March 13th, 2018 - 05:00 GMT
A teenage moped mugger has been sentenced to 10-and-a-half years over acid attack in UK. (AFP/ File Photo)
A teenage moped mugger has been sentenced to 10-and-a-half years over acid attack in UK. (AFP/ File Photo)

A teenage moped mugger who carried out a 72-minute acid attack spree has been jailed for 10-and-a-half years.

Derryck John threw acid at riders to steal their motorcycles and scooters in a crime spree across north and east London.

The attacks, against six drivers, happened in just over an hour on July 13, causing one of his victims 'life-changing' injuries. 

John, then aged 16, was eventually caught on CCTV at a petrol station in Hackney, east London.

He used an Evian bottle to spray acid in the face of his victims around ten times during his spree between 9.20pm and 11.28pm on July 13.

John, who was just 16 when he stole the bikes, claims he was urged on by an older accomplice who he looked up to in a gang who offered him what his parents could not, Wood Green Crown Court heard.

John, now 17, of Croydon, South London, admitted 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. 

Jailing John for ten years and six months Judge Noel Lucas QC said: 'Your actions were both despicable and callous.

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

'These were grave crimes and you attacked members of the public with acid of what appears to be on the strongest end of the scale.

'You have not revealed the name of your accomplice, or the liquid that was used or where you obtained it.'

John's mother and brother held their heads in their hands as they sat in the public gallery.

Father-of-one Jabed Hussain, 32, was the first person to be targeted at the Hackney Road junction with Queensbridge Road at about 10.30pm. 

He screamed for help as the flesh-burning liquid singed his skin, while the suspects made off with his moped.

Footage shows him being doused with water by police to wash the acid out of his eyes. The acid used ranged from PH levels one and two - the strongest available.

The second attack was just 20 minutes later when another victim was sprayed with acid on the Upper Street junction with Highbury Corner in Islington.

At about 11.05pm a third attack took place on Shoreditch High Street, followed by another within fifteen minutes on Cazenove Road, leaving the man with 'life-changing' injuries.

Another victim was targeted as he sat in traffic on Chatsworth Road at about 11.30pm, with the attackers fleeing the scene on the man's moped.

Speaking at an earlier hearing prosecutor Saira Nisar said: 'These are a series of serious attacks moped and motorcycle riders that took place on July 13 over a very short period of time - approximately two hours.

'The modus operandi over all of the offences is identical - the attacker strikes when the moped rider is at a red light.

'The corrosive liquid is then sprayed directly over the face of the rider.

'As the rider is struggling with the pain and disorientation of being sprayed with this noxious substance, the riders who have done this steal or attempt to steal the vehicle.'

John was already on bail for six offences including theft and possession of drugs and has a conviction of arson. 

DS James Leeks from Hackney CID 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 who steal scooters and use them to snatch valuables from members of the public.

‘We have a particular focus on the small number of criminals prepared to use corrosive substances to do so.’

The teenager admitted six counts of throwing a corrosive liquid with intent, two counts of robbery and four counts of attempted robbery. 

This article has been adapted from its original source.

© Associated Newspapers Ltd.

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