University student ‘ambushed friend with sulphuric acid in Katie Piper copycat attack’

Court hears how 21-year-old was jealous of her friend’s looks and carried out the alleged attack after a falling out

A “jealous” university student threw acid in the face of her 21-year-old former friend in a copycat attack mimicking the scarring of model Katie Piper, a court has heard.

Data from the phone of Mary Konye, 21, allegedly showed how she stalked Naomi Oni from a shopping mall to her home address where the attack took place.

The prosecution today claimed Ms Konye knew her alleged victim had been badly affected by the attack on Ms Piper in 2008, which left her badly scarred and blinded in one eye.

Allegedly jealous of Ms Oni’s own good looks and after a falling out, Ms Konye disguised herself in a Muslim veil and threw sulphuric acid in her face, the court heard.

According to reports in the Evening Standard, Snaresbrook Crown Court heard how mobile phone records showed Ms Konye’s iPhone followed Ms Oni from the Westfield Stratford where she worked to Barking station, and then from a bus stop to near her home address in Dagenham, east London.

The victim coming through the ticket barrier at Stratford followed by the suspect The victim coming through the ticket barrier at Stratford followed by the suspect Gareth Patterson, prosecuting, said: “The phones of both young women were using the same cell site about the same time. The prosecution says that was because Naomi was being followed by the defendant and the defendant was the person who carried out the attack.”

Mr Patterson said the mobile phone data contradicted Ms Konye’s claim to police that she was “tucked-up” in bed in Canning Town, east London when the attack happened at 12.24am.

The victim coming up the stairs at Barking station The victim coming up the stairs at Barking station The court heard Ms Konye’s phone was tracked one minute behind Ms Oni’s phone and it was consistent with the defendant “stalking” her victim.

The court heard yesterday that Ms Konye threw the sulphuric acid in a copycat version of the Ms Piper attack after both women discussed the high-profile case.

The student was said to have been jealous of the victim’s good looks.

Ms Oni, 21, suffered serious burns on her face and chest, lost her hair and eyelashes and was left scarred for life.

After the acid was thrown she screamed and could smell her skin and hair burning, the jury heard. She ran home where her family tried frantically to wash it off.

But she lost the skin from her face, and has permanent scarring over her body, the court was told.

The suspect follows the victim up the stairs in Barking station The suspect follows the victim up the stairs in Barking station The court heard she left work at the Westfield shopping centre in Stratford, East London, at around 11.30pm. CCTV footage shows a figure in a niqab with only her eyes visible who “lingered, waiting to see the victim” and “tailed her home” walking a few steps behind her, Mr Patterson said.

Ms Konye, of Canning Town, East London, was arrested and told police Ms Oni was very attractive, but denied being jealous of her looks.

She denies throwing or casting a corrosive fluid with intent to burn, maim, disfigure, disable or do grievous bodily harm.

The case continues.

News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Voices
Chris Grayling, Justice Secretary: 'There are pressures which we are facing but there is not a crisis'
voices

Does Chris Grayling realise what a vague concept he is dealing with?

News
Brian Harvey turned up at Downing Street today demanding to speak to the Prime Minister

Met Police confirm it was a 'minor disturbance' and no-one was arrested

News
Blackpool is expected to become one of the first places to introduce the Government’s controversial new Public Space Protection Orders (PSPOs)
news

Concerns raised phenomenon is threatening resort's image as a family destination

Life and Style
gaming

I Am Bread could actually be a challenging and nuanced title

News
Nigel Farage has backed DJ Mike Read's new Ukip song
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Shia LaBeouf plays a World War II soldier in forthcoming drama Fury
films

Eccentric Fury star, 28, reveals he is 'not a really confident actor'

Life and Style
Time and Oak have developed a product that allows drinkers to customise the flavour and improve the quality of cheaper whiskey
food + drink

Sport
football

Peter Biaksangzuala died from his injuries in hospital on Sunday

Life and Style
The final 12 acts will be facing Simon Cowell, Cheryl Fernandez-Versini, Mel B and Louis Walsh tonight
fashion

The X Factor's judges colourful outfit was mocked by Simon Cowell

News
news

Footage shot by a passerby shows moment an ill man was carried out of his burning home

News
people
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

Oscar Pistorius sentencing: The athlete's wealth and notoriety have provoked a long overdue debate on South African prisons

'They poured water on, then electrified me...'

If Oscar Pistorius is sent to jail, his experience will not be that of other inmates
James Wharton: The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

Life after the Army has brought new battles for the LGBT activist James Wharton
Ebola in the US: Panic over the virus threatens to infect President Obama's midterms

Panic over Ebola threatens to infect the midterms

Just one person has died, yet November's elections may be affected by what Republicans call 'Obama's Katrina', says Rupert Cornwell
Premier League coaches join the RSC to swap the tricks of their trades

Darling, you were fabulous! But offside...

Premier League coaches are joining the RSC to learn acting skills, and in turn they will teach its actors to play football. Nick Clark finds out why
How to dress with authority: Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear

How to dress with authority

Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear
New book on Joy Division's Ian Curtis sheds new light on the life of the late singer

New book on Ian Curtis sheds fresh light on the life of the late singer

'Joy Division were making art... Ian was for real' says author Jon Savage
Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

The Bafta-winner talks Hollywood, being branded a psycho, and how Barbra Streisand is his true inspiration
Tim Minchin, interview: The musician, comedian and world's favourite ginger is on scorching form

Tim Minchin interview

For a no-holds-barred comedian who is scathing about woolly thinking and oppressive religiosity, he is surprisingly gentle in person
Boris Johnson's boozing won't win the puritan vote

Boris's boozing won't win the puritan vote

Many of us Brits still disapprove of conspicuous consumption – it's the way we were raised, says DJ Taylor
Ash frontman Tim Wheeler reveals how he came to terms with his father's dementia

Tim Wheeler: Alzheimer's, memories and my dad

Wheeler's dad suffered from Alzheimer's for three years. When he died, there was only one way the Ash frontman knew how to respond: with a heartfelt solo album
Hugh Bonneville & Peter James: 'Peter loves his classic cars; I've always pootled along fine with a Mini Metro. I think I lack his panache'

How We Met: Hugh Bonneville & Peter James

'Peter loves his classic cars; I've always pootled along fine with a Mini Metro. I think I lack his panache'
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's heavenly crab dishes don't need hours of preparation

Bill Granger's heavenly crab recipes

Scared off by the strain of shelling a crab? Let a fishmonger do the hard work so you can focus on getting the flavours right
Radamel Falcao: How faith and love drive the Colombian to glory

Radamel Falcao: How faith and love drive the Colombian to glory

After a remarkable conversion from reckless defender to prolific striker, Monaco's ace says he wants to make his loan deal at Old Trafford permanent
Terry Venables: Premier League managers must not be allowed to dictate who plays and who does not play for England

Terry Venables column

Premier League managers must not be allowed to dictate who plays and who does not play for England
The Inside Word: Brendan Rodgers looks to the future while Roy Hodgson is ghost of seasons past

Michael Calvin's Inside Word

Brendan Rodgers looks to the future while Roy Hodgson is ghost of seasons past