London acid girl Mary Konye faces jail for disfiguring Naomi Oni

Posted by News Express | 24 January 2014 | 5,028 times

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The horrific injuries of a Victoria’s Secret worker who had acid hurled in her face have been revealed as her childhood friend has been found guilty of carrying out the attack while disguised in a Muslim veil.

Mary Konye, 21, stalked Naomi Oni from the lingerie store where she worked after her friend had likened her to monster from a horror film.

Miss Oni, also 21, was scarred for life after Konye doused her with concentrated sulphuric acid near her home in Dagenham, Essex.

CCTV footage obtained by police after the attack showed Konye in a niqab following her as she left work at the Victoria’s Secret shop in Westfield shopping centre in Stratford at around 11.30pm.

She suffered serious burns to her face and chest, lost her hair and eyelashes, and required skin graft surgery to cover the burns.

The jury at Snaresbrook Crown Court reached its unanimous verdict following around seven and a half hours of deliberations after it was sent out yesterday afternoon.

Miss Oni’s mother jumped from her set and appeared jubilant at the verdict.

Judge David Radford adjourned sentence until March 7 while psychological reports are prepared and said: “In ordering these reports my judgement is that in all likelihood the case well lead to a substantial custodial sentence.

“But it will not be decided until I have had these reports – I do not want Konye to misunderstand the reasons.”

He said: “I should make clear that, in my judgment, this is a case that will, in all likelihood, need a substantial custodial sentence. It is inevitable, but it won’t be dealt with until I have received those reports.”

He thanked the jurors for their efforts, saying they had looked at the evidence “with great thoroughness, taking your time to reach your verdict.”

Miss Oni burst into tears as she left the courtroom and was hugged by family and friends.

Konye, a business and finance student, of Canning Town, east London, had denied throwing or casting a corrosive fluid with intent to burn, maim, disfigure, disable or do grievous bodily harm.

But dressed in black, Konye remained calm as the jury of eight men and four women returned their verdict.

A jury at London’s Snaresbrook Crown Court had earlier heard that, the day after the attack, Konye had offered Miss Oni a shoulder to cry on, and had sent a mobile phone message to her friend, who was in hospital receiving treatment, saying “OMG, I can’t believe it.”

Konye, was also said to have asked Muslim students about where to buy a niqab, or Islamic veil.

The court heard that Konye told a friend she planned to have her raped and wanted to disfigure Miss Oni, saying: “I’m going to mess up the one thing that girl has – her looks.”

Omolola Vincent, 20, told the North-East London court: “She said she was going to throw acid on her. She told me she had acid. She bought it online.”

In 2008, model and TV presenter Katie Piper was badly scarred and left blind in one eye in an assault arranged by her ex-boyfriend, Daniel Lynch.

Miss Oni earlier told the court that Konye was aware of how much of an impact Ms Piper’s ordeal had on her after watching a television documentary about it.

The pair had been friends since secondary school, but suffered a vicious fall out in April 2011 when Miss Oni allegedly accused Konye of texting her boyfriend and called her an “ugly monster”.

Instead she claimed that Miss Oni had hatched an elaborate plan to throw acid in her own face so that she could become as famous as Miss Piper.

“She said she could apply acid to herself and say she was attacked and I was just shocked – acid of all things, why acid,” Konye said.

Konye insisted she did not threaten to douse Miss Oni after she rowed with the victim in 2011 as two other friends have claimed.

She said: “I have never made such a threat to anyone. I have never threatened to throw acid in anyone’s face. I do not know why they (Kamilah Andrews and Lola Vincent) would come to court and lie. I do not understand.”

Under cross-examination Miss Oni was accused of setting up the attack and asking friend Konye, to “play the stalker” and throw the corrosive liquid over her.

Miss Oni vehemently denied the claims made by Konye’s QC, on the third day of the trial.

The court heard that the former friends had a ‘rocky relationship’ and had stopped speaking from April to September 2011 after a row over Konye sending text messages to Miss Oni’s boyfriend.

Giving evidence Miss Oni said: “I remember asking her why she wanted to do that and I said she’s a monster or something like that.

“I said you are a monster, you are an ugly monster. I remember us insulting each other’s looks.

“She also told me she was so angry she wanted to throw acid at me, but she was advised not to by her friend.

“Her friend said, ‘That’s stupid, you could go to jail for that’.’

Asked what she thought at the time about the threat, Miss Oni said: “I thought it was quite bizarre, I felt insulted again.

“But she seemed like she wasn’t serious. I thought she was trying to frighten me a little bit.”

She also said that Katie Piper – the model who had acid thrown in her face by an accomplice of her ex-boyfriend – was her inspiration, adding: “I remember being deeply moved by her story and me and Mary discussed it.”

She described how, on her way home from work at a Victoria’s Secret lingerie store, she got off at her bus stop in Dagenham, East London, and felt a ‘presence’ before turning to see someone in a niqab.

She then felt a ‘massive splash’ as the acid was thrown at her, scarring her for life and disfiguring her face, dissolving her hair and eyelashes and burning her tongue as she screamed.

Describing how she felt after the attack, she said: “Am I a bad person? Why has this happened to me? I work hard ... No one’s going to marry me now.”

Miss Oni also revealed that when she told her alleged attacker what had happened, her friend texted back: “OMG. Can’t believe it.”

She also cried down the phone to Konye, who offered her support.

She said: “I just had my bandages removed and it was the first time I saw my face after surgery and I broke down and I had spoken to Mary that night and I was crying on the phone to her and she was on the phone to me telling me, ‘don’t worry, you’ll be OK’.”

She said: “I was still on the phone to my boyfriend and I felt a presence. I turned to my left and I saw someone and a black abaya [cloak] or a black niqab.

“I remember it facing me, staring. A presence directly looking at me. All I could see was eyes.’

She then said she felt the splash as the acid was thrown in her face and ran home shouting ‘acid, acid.”

She said: “I immediately felt that someone was trying to kill me and so my instinct was to run as fast as I could to get home.

“I felt, it wasn’t burning, it was a dissolving type of sensation. It was on my face and I remember, as I had my mouth open screaming, it burnt my tongue.”

Speaking outside court after Koyne was found guilty of the acid attack, family friend Sheila MacClean said Miss Oni had not wanted to believe her friend was guilty.

She said: “This was her friend, perhaps that's the cruelest thing.

“This was her friend and someone that she has known for ten years and this was the hardest thing of all for her.

“She never really believed it until she was forced to believe it. We are glad the verdict came out as the right truthful one and it has been quite a long and torturous ride and she reached the end of the tunnel.

“Her life was turned upside down and now her job is to find equilibrium and try and get her life back on track again.

“We are glad the right decision has been made, any doubts about her have been quelled.

“Today it reached its climax. She wants to be alone for a while and rebuild her life.

“It was a very difficult journey for us, painful and difficult.

“But we want to thank everybody who stood by her, the surgeons that helped to rebuild her face, her legs, her arm, her fingers.

“Everyone’s been marvellous to her, she's had so much love and care and support from her family.

“She needed all the support she could get and she’s had that. Now she just wants to rebuild her life.”

•Excerpted from a Daily Mail report. Photo shows evil acid thrower Mary Konye.

Source: News Express

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