Father in court over acid attack on three-year-old
The father of a three-year-old boy has appeared in court charged with conspiracy to commit grievous bodily harm after a suspected acid attack on his son.
The 39-year-old - who cannot be named for legal reasons - appeared alongside Adam Cech, 27, and Jan Dudi, 25, both from Birmingham, Norbert Pulko, 22, from London, together with Jabar Paktia, 41, from Wolverhampton.
The five, who were arrested by West Mercia Police, were all charged with conspiring between July 16 and July 21 to cause grievous bodily harm to the victim with intent.
The men all appeared together in the dock at Kidderminster Magistrates' Court, wearing grey tracksuits and white t-shirts, on Wednesday.
The boy suffered serious burns to his face and an arm at the Home Bargains store in Worcester on Saturday afternoon and was discharged from hospital the following day.
Magistrates were told by Stephen Davies, prosecuting, that the boy and his mother were now "in a place of safety".
It is not yet known whether the youngster has suffered longer-term implications as a result of his injuries.
The suspected attack occurred in the Tallow Hill area of Worcester, while the boy was out with his mother and other children.
During a lengthy hearing, the men spoke only to confirm their names, ages and addresses.
All, including Slovakian nationals Pulko; who is a registered carer for his disabled mother, Cech, a father-of-two who is a team leader at an Oliver James Foods factory, and father-of-two Dudi, denied any wrongdoing through their solicitors.
Angela Channon, chairman of the bench, remanding the men into custody, told them they would appear next month at the crown court.
The boy's father, together with Cech, of Farnham Road, and Dudi, of Cranbrook Road, both Handsworth, Birmingham, Paktia, of Newhampton Road, Wolverhampton, and Pulko, of Sutherland Road, Walthamstow, London, will next appear at Worcester Crown Court on August 28.