London

Mary Konye guilty of acid attack on friend Naomi Oni

Media playback is unsupported on your device
Media captionNaomi Oni was on her way home from work when she was attacked

A woman has been found guilty of throwing acid in the face of a friend while disguised in a veil.

Naomi Oni, 21, suffered burns to her face and chest in the attack near her home in Dagenham, east London.

Mary Konye, also 21, dressed in a veil and attacked Ms Oni after following her home, Snaresbrook Crown Court heard.

The court heard that Ms Oni also lost her hair and eyelashes and needed skin grafts after Konye, from Canning Town, attacked her.

Image copyright Met police
Image caption Mary Konye will be sentenced on 7 March

Konye attacked Ms Oni, an assistant at a Victoria's Secret lingerie shop, because she once called her ugly, the court heard.

The pair, who had been friends since secondary school, fell out in April 2011 when Ms Oni allegedly accused Konye of texting her boyfriend and called her an "ugly monster".

CCTV footage obtained by police showed a figure in a niqab following Ms Oni as she left work at Westfield shopping centre in Stratford at about 23:30 GMT.

Following the attack on 30 December 2012, Konye pretended to give Ms Oni a shoulder to cry on.

The jury heard the following day, Konye texted Ms Oni in hospital, saying: "OMG, I can't believe it."

After the attack, Konye posted a picture of the burnt faced Freddy Krueger character from the horror film Nightmare on Elm Street, together with the message: "Who looks like Wrong Turn now?"

Image copyright Met Police
Image caption Ms Oni suffered serious burns to her face and chest and lost her hair and eyelashes
Image copyright Met Police
Image caption She needed skin grafts to cover the burns
Image copyright Metropolitan Police
Image caption Mary Koyne was captured on CCTV following Naomi Oni

The attack is said to have been a copycat of that suffered by model and TV presenter Katie Piper, who was badly scarred and left blind in one eye in an assault arranged by her ex-boyfriend, Daniel Lynch, in 2008.

Ms Oni told the court that Konye was aware of how much of an impact Ms Piper's ordeal had had on her after watching a television documentary about it.

Dressed in black, Konye remained calm as the jury of eight men and four women returned their verdict.

Judge David Radford warned Konye that she will face a "substantial" jail sentence.

He thanked the jurors for their efforts, saying they had looked at the evidence "with great thoroughness, taking your time to reach your verdict".

Ms Oni burst into tears as she left the courtroom and was hugged by friends and family.

As they left court, her friends said they were "glad that a truthful verdict had been reached".

Media playback is unsupported on your device
Media captionDCI Dave Whellams: "[Naomi Oni] is a very brave woman"

Following the verdict, investigating officer Det Ch Insp David Whellams said: "Konye was almost obsessively jealous of the victim's good looks and, after a previous argument between them, hatched an almost unbelievable plan to attack her with acid.

"The victim's life has been changed forever and she will always bear the scars of what happened, but she has been incredibly brave and I am pleased she has seen justice done today."

Konye will be sentenced at the court on 7 March.

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

More on this story

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites