Thug is jailed after hurling acid at driver through car window in Bethnal Green
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A man who threw sulphuric acid at a driver and passenger through an open car window when they pulled up at traffic lights in Bethnal Green has been jailed for 14 years.
It was one of a wave of acid attacks across east London last summer which led to a public meeting of victims’ families with the Mayor of Tower Hamlets.
Some 10 months on, Rahad Hussain, 24, admitted two charges of GBH with intent in Bethnal Green Road and one of having an offensive weapon, when he appeared at Snaresbrook Crown Court last Friday.
The car driver and his cousin had stopped in Bethnal Green Road when Hussain approached and hurled the acid through the window.
They suffered face and neck burns, but were able to drive to a shop where they were doused with water. A fire crew arrived at the shop and hosed them down.
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One of the victims identified Hussain from his school days through his old nickname ‘Miju’ which was used on a Facebook profile, the court heard. Hussain handed himself in to police after he had been identified.
“This was a deliberate assault,” senior Crown prosecutor Louise Moore said. “The cousins were extremely lucky not to suffer more serious injuries.”
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The July 25 incident was one of a string of acid attacks last summer, which led to the public meeting with Mayor John Biggs and East Ham’s MP Stephen Timms held at Whitechapel’s Osmani centre.
A relative of one of the Bethnal Green Road victims who addressed the meeting told the East London Advertiser at the time: “The attacker just came up to the car and hurled a corrosive substance. There had been no confrontation. Now we are frighted to go out at night.”
His nephew was treated at the Royal London Hospital for corrosive burns on his head, face and neck.
Police patrols were being equipped with ‘noxious substance’ kits such as gauntlets, masks and water to treat victims because they were often the first on the scene before ambulances, Det Supt Mark Broom told the families.
The meeting led to a council campaign to sign-up shopkeepers pledging not to sell corrosive products without stringent checks.