Father accused of plotting acid attack on his young son did it to win back estranged wife, court told

The 40-year-old allegedly 'enlisted others' to attack the youngster

Monday 11 February 2019 20:57
Worcester Crown Court (file photo)
Worcester Crown Court (file photo)

An "obsessed" father plotted an acid attack on his young son in an attempt to win back his estranged wife, a court heard.

The 40-year-old man who cannot be named for legal reasons is alleged to have "enlisted others" to attack the boy after his wife walked out on him, taking the children with her, in 2016, jurors at Worcester Crown Court were told.

It is alleged that he believed he could blame his estranged wife if his son was hurt, who would then be forced to abandon her desire for a divorce.

The child, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, suffered serious burns to his face and arm when he was attacked at a Home Bargains shop in Worcester last July.

A jury heard how that the boy screamed "I hurt", over and over again, after being struck.

His 40-year-old father has been charged with conspiring to unlawfully or maliciously cast or throw sulphuric acid on or at the boy between 1 June and 22 July, with intent to burn, maim, disfigure or disable the minor, or do grievous bodily harm. He denies the charge.

Facing the same charge are Adam Cech, 27, Jan Dudi, 25, and Norbert Pulko, 22. Also accused are Martina Badiova, 22, Jabar Paktia, 42, and Saied Hussini, 42. They all deny the allegation.

At the start of his third day giving evidence, the father agreed with Mr Hussini's barrister Lauren Soertsz, that after his wife had filed for divorce in August 2017, he had become "obsessed" with the outcome of family court proceedings.

Ms Soertsz also asked about a discussion at with Mr Hussini on 5 July 2018.

She said: "What you said your solicitor had stated is that you should mark the child and then blame the mother."

The father replied: "Never. I never said that. I would never talk about my children like that."

Miss Soertsz then asked: "You said that the mother would be forced to abandon her divorce proceedings and return to you."

She added: "You knew if you got the children, she would never be separated from them and she would return to you. You had found somebody who could mark your child, with a sharp object."

He replied: "This is not the truth."

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The court heard how only weeks before the shop attack a final court hearing to determine custody for the children had been set for 13 June, but it had been postponed.

However, a social worker's report, prepared for both parents, had granted custody in favour of the mother.

Miss Soertsz then put to the father he had "told Mr Hussini you had that week in which to harm one of your children.

"You said the court hearing was coming," she added.

The barrister said that, the next day, her client Mr Hussini then told the father: "He had found someone who had a better option than cutting the child and would do it for £3,000."

She alleged that the father had gone with Ms Paktia and Mr Hussini to meet Mr Pulko, who was the person who first suggested using acid.

Ms Soertsz said: "Pulko suggested that the better option to mark the child was using acid."

The father replied: "If I don't know Mr Pulko, how could I have ever discussed that?"

Jurors previously heard about what the prosecution claimed was an "aborted" attempt on the child on July 13, eight days before the shop attack.

Ms Soertsz alleged it was her client's account that the father, a former factory worker, had then sourced the acid, a claim he denied in court.

She said: "The plan was, as far as you're concerned, that the child was to be marked on July 13."

On Mr Hussini's account, Ms Soertsz said it was alleged that, by 11 July, the father had handed Mr Pulko a £1,500 down-payment for the attack.

The July 13 attack was "aborted", although CCTV showing the alleged run-up to the operation and Mr Pulko walking near the mother and child, has been played in court.

Mr Hussini had then claimed he rang and told the boy's father they had "done what you'd asked", Ms Soertsz said.

But three days later the father had contacted Mr Hussini and said he "didn't believe he'd marked the child".

Ms Soertsz alleged the father and Ms Paktia then went to Mr Hussini's home, picked him up and had an argument in a car.

She said: "In that argument you said he'd taken your money and you'd ruined his life as the 13th of July had been the last chance to get the children back.

"He (Hussini) replied he'd done what was right, he'd helped the family and he also said that you were not a man."

The father replied: "Not true."

The trial continues.

Additional reporting from agencies