Hereford & Worcester

Worcester acid attack boy, 3, screamed 'I hurt'

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

A three-year-old boy who suffered serious burns in an acid attack allegedly co-ordinated by his father screamed "I hurt", a court has heard.

CCTV footage of the attack in July 2018 showed the boy looking at footballs in a store in Worcester moments before.

Prosecutors at Worcester Crown Court 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.

The boy's face and arm were burned when he was squirted with sulphuric acid at Home Bargains in the Tallow Hill area of the city.

'Split second'

Jurors watched CCTV footage which showed the boy and his family arriving at the shop at about 14:00 BST.

Three of the defendants - Adam Cech, Jan Dudi and Norbert Pulko - were allegedly seen following them in a car.

Inside the store, Adam Cech can be seen approaching the boy, who was playing with some footballs, before extending his arm with an object in his hand.

"That is the acid attack," prosecutor Jonathan Rees QC told the court. "It is over in a split second."

The boy is then seen in distress, screaming: "I hurt, I hurt, I hurt."

The three men then left the store "within moments" of each other, Mr Rees added.

The prosecution also alleges there was an "aborted attempt" to hurt the boy eight days earlier when Mr Pulko, along with co-defendants Saied Hussini and Martina Badiova, were seen "hanging around" near his school.

"The prosecution suggest that the plan was for Mr Pulko to squirt acid on the child, but he pulled out or aborted because there were too many people around," Mr Rees said.

The boy's mother also said his father had threatened to kill her and her children.

'Begging and crying'

Giving evidence via a video link, the woman said the couple had an arranged marriage in early 2006 which took place in Pakistan.

Her husband moved back to the UK and she followed eight months later, settling in the West Midlands and having three children together.

She told jurors she decided to leave her husband in 2012 but he called "begging and crying", urging her to return.

When she did return home after three days, she said he told her she had "humiliated" him

The woman added: "He said he'd been to an imam and said, because his wife had left him for three days, is he allowed to kill me?"

She said her husband had also threatened to have the children killed abroad if she left again.

After they eventually divorced, the father was allowed to see his children once a fortnight in a supervised contact centre, the court was told.

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.

The trial continues.

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