Mary Konye imprisoned for 12 years after acid attack
A female who threw acid in the face area of her friend while veiled has been locked away for 12 years.
Business student Mary Konye, 22, assaulted Naomi Oni, a Victoria’s Secret store helper, over a “trivial, unimportant” discussion after following her home from work.
Oni ended up being scarred for life after experiencing acute burns on her face and torso after the event in Dagenham, east London, on 30 December 2012.
Judge David Radford, who sentenced Konye at London’s Snaresbrook crown court , mentioned the outcomes of her “intentional [and] wicked behave have been disastrous to Miss Oni”. He added that it was a premeditated and callous plan to burn and disfigure the victim.
Konye, who was found guilty in January, seemed straight ahead from the dock and showed zero response as she was sentenced.
Oni, twenty-two, who didn’t attend the sentencing, mentioned in a declaration to the court that she thought killing herself after being “profaned” by her “wicked” assailant.
Providing his sentence, Judge Radford said: “This careful, premeditated criminality was planned against an individual who reasonably believed you were a true friend.”
The judge said Konye had been “intentionally dishonest” during the trial, after she confessed throwing the acid after her conviction. A letter of regret she had since composed was “utterly belated”, he added.
Radford said Oni’s life had been “wrecked” along with her trust in friends.
In a declaration read to the court by prosecutor Gareth Patterson, Oni said she was now “paranoid and scared” about being outdoors alone.
The victim informed the judge that, before the attack, she was a confident young woman with a job she enjoyed. “All this changed that day I was struck with acid and my life was turned upside down,” she said. It was now a “battle to get by each day” after being forever disfigured, she added.
Oni said she had suffered permanent scars to her leg, torso, abdomen and hands and was almost blinded in one eye. She faces further reconstructive surgery and must wear a silicon mask that makes it hard to inhale, the court heard.
Oni said she regretted ever becoming friends with Konye. “It was bad enough thinking it was a random assault. Knowing Mary prepared this is beyond belief. I avoid trusting people in the same way any more.”
Throughout her trial, the jury heard that Konye pretended to provide Oni a shoulder to cry on following the attack.
Konye used the “implausible” excuse that it had been Oni who planned the incident because she wanted “fame and fortune and to sell her story to the paper”, police said.
CCTV video footage acquired by authorities following the assault revealed Konye in a niqab after Oni as she left work at the Westfield shopping centre in Stratford around 11.30pm.
The victim lost her hair and eyelashes, and required skin graft surgery to cover her burns.