Acid attack victim says attacker sentenced to 16 years deserves death penalty

A man who was doused with acid has called for tougher sentences and said his attacker, who was jailed for 16 years, deserved the death penalty.

Resham Khan and Jameel Muhktar suffered horrific injuries to their faces and bodies in the unprovoked attack on Ms Khan's 21st birthday in Beckton, east London.

John Tomlin, 25, was sentenced at Snaresbrook Crown Court on Friday to 16 years imprisonment with a four year extended licence.

CCTV image of John Tomlin throwing a substance into a car (Metropolitan Police/PA)
CCTV image of John Tomlin throwing a substance into a car (Metropolitan Police/PA)

Speaking outside court Mr Muhktar branded Tomlin an "animal" and a "coward" and said he "deserves the death penalty".

"The sentence isn't long enough, my life has finished, I'm in continuous pain, I can't sleep and I can't eat," he added.

When asked about the rising number of acid attacks he said: "Something needs to be done about this, I don't feel this was a strong enough sentence. This will carry on now.

"He should have been given life, he should have done the whole of his life in prison.

"If this was in America he could have been given the death penalty. That's what he deserves."

Acid attacker John Tomlin was jailed for 16 years (Metropolitan Police/PA)
Acid attacker John Tomlin was jailed for 16 years (Metropolitan Police/PA)

The cousins had had "no previous dealings" with their attacker and Judge Sheelagh Canavan previously described the assault as "somewhat random".

Judge Canavan said: "No sentence I impose can ever give back to the victims what you took from them on June 21.

"The court can only hope that in time and with help they can begin to put the consequences of your unprovoked attack behind them, it is undoubtedly a life's work."

Tomlin hurled acid through both front windows of the Renault Clio as it was pulled up on Tollgate Road at 9.13am on Wednesday June 21 2017.

He was seen on CCTV chasing after the car and emptying the bottle of acid over Mr Muhktar as he sped away.

Witnesses described seeing the victims "jumping around as if they were on fire" in the road as their clothing "literally melted off them onto the ground".

Judge Canavan described their injuries as "dreadful and life changing".

She added: "It is becoming all too common an occurrence on our streets that members of the public are pouring water over people who have had acid thrown over them, as if this is some sort of fashionable assault that is being carried out."

Tomlin, of Colman Road, Canning Town, was arrested after handing himself in to the police a month later and said in interview that he was "hearing voices in my head".

He pleaded guilty to two counts of intending to cause grievous bodily harm on the first day of his trial in November 2017.

He has been diagnosed as emotionally unstable with a personality disorder and has a number of previous convictions, including violent offences, robbery, burglaries and theft, the court heard.

Both victims read statements to the court about the devastating impact their injuries have had on their lives.

Mr Muhktar said he felt "emotionally wrecked" and "in continuous pain" after the attack.

He has permanent scarring to his head, neck and body, lost hearing in one ear and suffers from psychological problems since the attack and wanted to take his own life.

He told doctors during one hospital admission: "I need all the help I can get. I just want to die.

"I worry if I'm on my on I might do something."

He added: "I'm not getting better. I'm getting worse.

"If I was dead I would not have to go through this pain."

University student Ms Khan also carries lifelong scars to her face, particularly her eyes.

She has suffered from severe depression and anxiety as a result of the attack and also tried to take her own life.

"My 21st birthday turned into a day where my face was taken away from me," she said.

"No matter what his sentence may be these injuries will affect me for the rest of my life."

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