Sentence increased for ex-boyfriend who threw acid in junior doctor’s face

Rym Alaoui was subjected to the horrific attack in Brighton earlier this year when she was tricked by Milad Rouf on her doorstep.

Tom Pilgrim
Wednesday 15 December 2021 14:48
Milad Rouf has had his sentence increased after an acid attack on his former partner (Sussex Police/PA)
Milad Rouf has had his sentence increased after an acid attack on his former partner (Sussex Police/PA)

A jealous ex-boyfriend who left a junior doctor with devastating injuries after hurling sulphuric acid in her face has had his jail sentence increased.

Rym Alaoui was subjected to the horrific attack in Brighton earlier this year when she was tricked by Milad Rouf on her doorstep.

Rouf, a medical student, now aged 26, travelled to the town and disguised himself in a fat suit in order to fool his former partner and carry out the assault.

He was handed an extended jail sentence of 11 years in prison and four years on licence, by a judge at Lewes Crown Court in October.

But Solicitor General Alex Chalk challenged the sentence as being unduly lenient, referring it to the Court of Appeal.

Following a hearing at the Royal Courts of Justice on Wednesday, judges increased Rouf’s sentence to 15 years imprisonment with a four-year extended licence.

Lord Justice Fulford, sitting with Mr Justice Goss and Sir Andrew Nicol, ruled the original sentence had been “unduly lenient”, noting the domestic context of the case.

Rouf’s crime was shocking and has severely impacted the future of a young doctor - who lives to heal others - by robbing her of her sight in one eye

Solicitor General Alex Chalk

“This offence was a form of domestic abuse,” he said, highlighting that the extent of Rouf’s planning of the attack was “striking”.

He said acid or other corrosive substances have a “destructive quality” which when used in an attack can deny a victim a chance of more than a partial recovery “because of the limitations of plastic surgery”.

The judge noted the impact of the “devastating” injuries suffered by Rouf’s victim and how she did not know whether she would be able return to her previous role in the medical profession.

Speaking after Wednesday’s hearing, Mr Chalk said: “Rouf’s crime was shocking and has severely impacted the future of a young doctor – who lives to heal others – by robbing her of her sight in one eye.

“I hope the court’s decision to increase his sentence acts as a warning to those who think of acting in such a cruel and barbaric way.”

Sentencing Rouf in October, Judge Christine Laing QC said the trauma suffered by Dr Alaoui was “unimaginable”.

She added: “You bought sulphuric acid, as a trainee doctor you would know far better than most people the devastating consequences that has when applied to the human body.”

Judge Laing said Rouf acted out of “simple jealousy and anger at being rejected”.

Lewes Crown Court previously heard that Rouf, from Cardiff, wore make-up and sunglasses as he walked up to his victim’s home, knocked on the door, and then threw the corrosive liquid into her face.

Prosecutor Flora Page told the court that Rouf and Dr Alaoui had dated briefly while studying together in Cardiff, but she had ended the relationship and moved to the East Sussex city where she began working as a junior doctor.

I have been robbed of years of my career and young adult life. I cannot begin to imagine how or why someone could commit such a horrible, premeditated attack

Dr Rym Alaoui

Instead of moving on, Rouf spent weeks planning his attack before travelling to Brighton on May 20.

His disguise meant Dr Alaoui did not recognise him as she opened the door.

Rouf showed her a threatening note written on a pad – taking care not to speak and give himself away – before throwing 60% concentrate sulphuric acid in her face.

Despite her quick-thinking in going straight to the shower to wash it off, and the actions of medical staff, she has been left with devastating injuries.

In a statement read out on her behalf in court, Dr Alaoui said the attack had left her living in “constant physical and psychological pain” and that she feared for her “future wellbeing and socioeconomic hardship”.

“I have been robbed of years of my career and young adult life,” she said.

“I cannot begin to imagine how or why someone could commit such a horrible, premeditated attack.”

Defence barrister Harry Macdonald previously cited Rouf’s guilty plea and history of good character, including his work on a website to help the NHS.

Lewes Crown Court also heard evidence that Rouf had been suffering from depression following the death of his mother.

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