Man guilty of ‘brutal’ acid attack


Victim attacked over Facebook affair with attacker’s sister

THREE men have today been convicted of their involvement in a brutal ‘revenge’ attack on a 24-year-old man who was beaten, stabbed and doused with sulphuric acid in Leytonstone.

Mohammed Vakas, 26, was found guilty today at the Old Bailey of conspiracy to murder Awais Akram.

Mr Akram suffered appalling injuries and was left severely disfigured following the attack in July last year.

Mohammed Adeel, 20, and a 17-year-old who cannot be named were found not guilty of conspiracy to murder, but guilty of conspiracy to commit GBH.

The Old Bailey heard Mr Akram suffered 47 per cent burns to the head, neck and chest, abdomen, upper limbs and back. He also suffered facial fractures, eye injuries and stab wounds to the lower body.

He was treated at hospital, where he has undergone numerous operations and though now discharged continues to require treatment.

The attack on Danish born Mr Akram, who arrived in Britain from Pakistan to work, was fuelled by his ‘relationship’ with Sadia Khatoon, a married woman from Walthamstow who he met online through Facebook last year.

Mrs Khatoon helped Mr Akram find accommodation in Mayville Road, Leytonstone. It was during this time that their relationship became known to Mrs Khatoon’s family, including her husband Shakeel Abassi.

As a result, a plot was then formed to carry out a ‘revenge’ attack on Mr Akram for the threat the relationship posed.

This plot involved Mrs Khatoon’s brother, Mohammed Vakas and her cousin Mohammed Adeel, who recruited the 17-year-old.

On the night of the attack, on the request of Mrs Khatoon, Mr Akram headed to an internet café to check on a ticket to Pakistan she said she had bought him.

After finding the café shut, Mr Akram made his way home via Marchant Road. As he walked along, he was approached by a group of males. Mr Akram was stuck on the thigh, causing him to fall on the ground. He was then beaten and stabbed before being doused with acid.

Following the attack, the suspects made off, leaving Mr Akram suffering appalling injuries.

A witness told the Old Bailey Mr Akram looked like a “cross between a zombie from a horror movie and the Incredible Hulk.”

Senior Investigating officer, DCI Nigel Furness of Waltham Forest CID, hailed Mr Akram’s bravery in coming forward and giving evidence against his attackers.

“This has been a complex investigation which has relied upon witnesses coming forward from the community, for which we are extremely grateful, and the strength of evidence given by the victim, Awais Akram,” he said.

“Awais is to be commended for his bravery in giving evidence following a brutal attack which has left him severely disfigured for life. No words can describe the amount of courage it took for him to stand in court, face his attackers and give his account.”

All three men will be sentenced at the Old Bailey tomorrow.


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