Edinburgh, Fife & East Scotland

Schoolgirl admits acid attack at Haddington school

A schoolgirl has admitted causing permanent injuries to a love rival following an acid attack at an East Lothian high school.

The 17-year-old pupil poured a solution containing sulphuric acid into a viola case owned by a girl who had started seeing her former boyfriend.

The instrument was destroyed and the acid poured over the girl's legs when she opened the box.

The incident happened at a school in Haddington on 29 September 2016.

Sentence was deferred until 7 August.

The 17-year-old attacker, admitted to recklessly and culpably pouring sulphuric acid into a viola case in the knowledge it would be removed from a shelf by the victim causing sulphuric acid to spill onto her legs, all to her injury and permanent disfigurement.

The victim, also 17, was forced to drop out of some lessons and cancel driving lessons due to the injuries.

Edinburgh Sheriff Court was told prior to the incident, the teenage attacker had researched acid attacks in the press and read articles on how long acid attackers would receive as a prison sentence.

'Intense burning'

The court heard both girls, who cannot be named for legal reasons, were acquaintances and both were members of the high school's orchestra before the incident.

The "talented musicians" fell out when the victim began going out with an ex-partner of the teenage attacker.

Prosecutor Aidan Higgins said both girls took part in an orchestra practice session at the school on 29 September last year and afterwards had stored their instruments on shelves provided.

When the classroom was deserted the attacker then sneaked back in to carry out her plan to destroy her rival's instrument.

Mr Higgins said: "The accused entered the music room and took down the girl's viola case, opened it and poured a quantity of drain cleaner over the viola and inside the case. She then placed it back on the shelf.

"When the victim went into the strings room she was aware of an eggy smell.

"She then took down her case and she was immediately aware of red liquid spilling from the bottom of the case and landing on her right leg.

"She looked down and saw her tights were disintegrating and she was aware of an intense burning on her leg."

The attacker was identified after a schoolboy said he had spotted her crouching down inside the music room 10 minutes before the incident happened.

The victim received plastic surgery in hospital.

The court was also told the victim continues to suffer psychological problems and also has "shooting pains and nerve damage" due to the attack and has undergone laser treatment to the burns.

Jim Stephenson, defending, said he would reserve his mitigation for sentencing.

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