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Woman suffered 'terrible burns' in acid attack orchestrated by lover 60 years her senior, jury hears

Wolverhampton | News | Published:

The screams of the victim of acid attack were heard in the street after the chemical was thrown at her resulting in her suffering 'terrible burns', a court heard.

Nursing home worker Vikki Horsman, aged 19, suffered eight per cent burns to her body after being doused in a revenge attack orchestrated by her elderly former Muslim lover on April 15, this year, the jury was told.

She was doused with sulphuric acid in a horrific assault on the doorstep of a house after pensioner Mohammed Rafiq who was described by the prosecution barrister Mr Anthony Warner as 'controlling' set it up, the court heard.

Mr Warner said Miss Horsman had even converted to Islam and changed her name to Aleena Rafiq in 2013 to suit the old man, after starting a sexual relationship.

Rafiq, denies inflicting grievous bodily harm with intent on Ms Horsman, alongside co-accused Shannon Heaps, 23, and 25-year-old Steven Holmes, who is said to have carried out the attack in the porch of a house, in MacDonald Close, in Tividale.

Rafiq, also denies one charge of perverting the course of justice.

Prosecuting at Wolverhampton Crown Court, Mr Anthony Warner told about the moments after the attack. "She screamed loudly and felt a terrible burning pain," he said.

As she was sent reeling backwards by the assault, the prosecution barrister described how the victim saw the skin on her face "blistering" in a nearby mirror.

But he added that Rafiq 'may not have bargained for the fact that, in her terror, the victim of the attack would get some of the black liquid transferred to him' - the older man's defence is expected to say he was also a victim of the attack.

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The Crown say witnesses and mobile phone evidence will prove Rafiq spoke and met with both Heaps and Holmes, in the hours beforehand.

Mr Warner told the jury they would also hear from a man who was present during a meeting between the three, hearing Rafiq tell Holmes he wanted the younger man to deliver 'a gift to a girlfriend', and that Heaps would 'show him the address'.

The prosecution barrister added that before the attack on Ms Horsman, Rafiq handed a carrier bag allegedly containing the acid to Holmes.

The jury of seven women and five men were also told how one witness described hearing 'a loud scream', with Holmes appearing moments later and telling them to "run".

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Heaps and Holmes were also pictured on CCTV heading to and from the address, with the footage shown in court to the jury.

Mr Warner said it was the Crown's case Rafiq had later given witness statements to police which were "both misleading and untruthful" supplying them with the names of men unconnected to the assault, and false descriptions of the attackers.

Holmes, Heaps and Rafiq denied any involvement in the attack, with Holmes telling detectives: "I didn't do it."

Afterwards, Ms Horsman was treated for deep burns requiring specialist surgery to her face, neck, shoulders, and upper leg.

The prosecution barrister said she had 'many years' of treatment ahead.

The trial, estimated to last up to three weeks, continues.

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