Acid attack woman to be sentenced

A woman is facing jail today for leaving a friend scarred for life in an acid attack over a ''trivial, insignificant'' argument.

Undated handout CCTV still image of Mary Konye, 21, disguised in a Muslim veil following Naomi Oni home
Undated handout CCTV still image of Mary Konye, 21, disguised in a Muslim veil following Naomi Oni home

Business student Mary Konye, 21, disguised herself in a Muslim veil and attacked Naomi Oni after following her home from work .

Ms Oni, also 21, a Victoria's Secret shop assistant, was left with serious burns on her face and chest after the incident in Dagenham, east London, on December 30 2012.

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

She then used the ''implausible'' excuse that it had been Ms Oni who planned the incident because she wanted ''fame and fortune and to sell her story to the paper'', police said.

Speaking outside London's Snaresbrook Crown Court after she was convicted in January, Detective Chief Inspector Dave Whellams said it had been a ''serious, horrible offence which required a degree of planning and calculation''.

He told reporters that witnesses had testified in court that Konye planned the attack over the course of two years.

''She has prepared for this over a number of months, even years, all resulting from a trivial, insignificant argument that everybody has in their everyday lives,'' he said.

''But Mary Konye has taken this so far that she has planned this, disguised herself and followed Naomi on that night.

''The result today will give Naomi only some comfort but she is never going to be away from the fact that she is scarred.

"Every time she looks in the mirror she is going to be reminded of the fact but it will enable her to start to get some closure.''

Mr Whellams said the true reason behind the attack had not been established.

''They can't tell me really what the argument is - it's fashion, it's boyfriends, it's everyday things,'' he said.

Judge David Radford warned that Konye faces jail when he sentences her at the same court today.

''I should make clear that, in my judgment, this is a case that will, in all likelihood, need a substantial custodial sentence,'' he said.

CCTV footage obtained by police after the attack showed Konye in a niqab following Ms Oni as she left work at the Westfield shopping centre in Stratford at around 11.30pm.

The victim lost her hair and eyelashes, and required skin graft surgery to cover her burns.

The jury heard that, the day after the attack, Konye sent a mobile phone message to Ms Oni, who was in hospital receiving treatment, saying: ''OMG, I can't believe it.''

It is thought to have been a copycat attack mimicking the one 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.

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''.

Konye, of Canning Town, east London, denied throwing or casting a corrosive fluid with intent to burn, maim, disfigure, disable or do grievous bodily harm.