Acid attack victim Awais Akram 'targeted over affair with woman he met online'
Cahal Milmo is the chief reporter of The Independent and has been with the paper since 2000. He was born in London and previously worked at the Press Association news agency. He has reported on assignment at home and abroad, including Rwanda, Sudan and Burkina Faso, the phone hacking scandal and the London Olympics. In his spare time he is a keen runner and cyclist, and keeps an allotment.
Tuesday 13 April 2010
A Facebook user was disfigured in a revenge-fuelled acid attack over his intimate relationship with a married woman he met online, a court heard today.
Awais Akram, 25, looked like a "cross between a zombie from a horror movie and the Incredible Hulk" after the assault in July last year, jurors were told.
Mr Akram was left burned and bleeding from his nose and eyes and with flesh hanging off his body, prosecutor David Markham said.
A "high pitched scream rang out" as he was set upon by a group of men in the early hours of the morning in Leytonstone, east London, the Old Bailey heard.
Danish-born Mr Akram was allegedly targeted after his liaison with Sadia Khatoon was discovered by her husband and family.
It was she who helped to lay a "deadly trap", said Mr Markham, luring him to the scene of the attack "whether willingly or under some pressure from those who discovered the relationship".
Mr Akram was stabbed and beaten as well as having sulphuric acid poured on him during the "pre-meditated and murderous assault", the court heard.
The victim was left with 47% burns and jurors were shown graphics of the extent of his injuries.
"Those are injuries which transformed his appearance," Mr Markham said.
It is alleged that Khatoon's brother Mohammed Vakas, 26, and her cousin Mohammed Adeel, 20, planned to kill him "as an act of revenge" for his relationship with her, and a 17-year-old youth was also recruited to the plot.
Adeel and Vakas, both of Walthamstow, north east London, and the teenager, who cannot be named, deny conspiring with Khatoon and her husband Shakeel Abassi to murder Mr Akram.
Vakas has pleaded guilty to conspiracy to cause grievous bodily harm with intent, a charge his two co-defendants deny, jurors were told.
Khatoon and Abassi were last known to be in Pakistan, Mr Markham said.
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