Man faces jail over acid attack

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The Independent Online

A man who carried out a horrific acid attack on a 25-year-old over his intimate relationship with a married woman was facing a life sentence today.

Awais Akram was left severely disfigured after he was targeted in revenge for his liaison with businesswoman Sadia Khatoon, whom he met on Facebook.

When her husband and family found out, they got Ms Khatoon, 24, to lure the victim out of his flat, where concentrated sulphuric acid was poured over his head.

Mr Akram, who was left with 47% burns, said he was in so much pain at the time that he wanted to die.

"My whole body started to burn," he said.

One witness said he looked like a "cross between a zombie from a horror movie and the Incredible Hulk" after the attack last July.

Ms Khatoon and her husband Shakeel Abassi, 32, later disappeared in Pakistan and detectives said they now feared for her safety.

Her brother Mohammed Vakas admitted pouring the acid on Mr Akram, during a taped police van conversation with cousin and fellow conspirator Mohammed Adeel.

During the attack, the men received instructions from Ms Khatoon's husband Abassi, who was in a hotel room near Heathrow with his wife. She was on the phone with the unsuspecting victim who was telling her his whereabouts.

Vakas, 26, of Walthamstow, north east London, was found guilty today of conspiracy to murder.

Adeel, 20, also of Walthamstow and a 17-year-old youth were cleared of the charge but convicted of conspiracy to cause grievous bodily harm.

Police hailed the victim's bravery in coming forward to give evidence against them despite being deeply traumatised by what happened and one officer described him as an "incredible young man".