Hereford & Worcester

Custody battle father 'plotted acid attack on own son'

Police investigate outside Home Bargains Image copyright SWNS
Image caption The six men and one woman are charged with conspiring to commit grievous bodily harm over the incident in Home Bargains

A father locked in a custody row plotted an acid attack on his three-year-old son to try to paint the boy's mother as "unfit", a court has heard.

The boy's face and arm were burned when he was squirted with sulphuric acid at a Home Bargains store in Worcester.

Prosecutors said his father, 40, enlisted others in a bid to "manufacture" evidence to discredit his estranged wife.

He and six others deny conspiring to commit grievous bodily harm.

All seven are on trial at Worcester Crown Court accused of plotting to throw acid with the intent to burn, maim, disfigure, or disable.

Jonathan Rees QC, prosecuting, said the father, who cannot be named, was the "driving force" behind the attack in the Tallow Hill area on 21 July.

He said the case concerned a "cowardly attack on a defenceless three-year-old in which he was squirted with a solution of sulphuric acid."

"It was over almost in the blink of the eye and may have gone undetected were it not for the fact it was captured on the shop's internal CCTV system," he said.

"Thankfully, due to the quick actions of a member of staff, the seriousness of the injuries was limited... although it is too early to say whether or not there will be any residual marking," Mr Rees said.

'Show wife in bad light'

The court heard the defendant "took the separation badly" when his wife left him and issued divorce proceedings in 2016.

Mr Rees said the defendant was seeking greater access of the couple's three children, but his wife opposed the application.

Mr Rees said: "In an effort to ensure his application was successful he was willing to manufacture evidence of injuries to his children in an attempt to show that his wife was unable properly to care for them, in other words she was an unfit mother.

"We suggest that his desire to show his wife in a bad light may have provided at least some of the motivation for him organising this attack on his son.

"It would enable him to say to the court that the child had sustained nasty injuries while he was in the care of his mother."

The father, who cannot be named for legal reasons is accused alongside Adam Cech, 27, of Farnham Road, Jan Dudi, 25, of Cranbrook Road and Martina Badiova, 22, of Newcombe Road, Handsworth all of Birmingham; Norbert Pulko, 22, of Sutherland Road and Saied Hussini, 41, of Wrottesley Road, both in London and Jabar Paktia, 41, of Newhampton Road, Wolverhampton.

Mr Rees said Mr Cech carried out the 21 July assault, accompanied by co-accused Jan Dudi and Norbert Pulko.

Mr Pulko, Saied Hussini and Martina Badiova, were involved in an earlier incident on 13 July, he added, saying they spent hours "loitering" outside the boy's school, although no attack was carried out.

The trial continues.

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