A SEVENTEEN YEAR OLD boy has admitted conducting a spree of acid attacks around East and North London on 13th July last year. Derryck John, of Thornton Heath in South London, came clean at Wood Green Crown Court on 8th January.
John pleaded guilty to six counts of throwing a corrosive substance with intent to disable, main, disfigure or do grievous bodily harm as well as two counts of robbery of a moped and four counts of attempted robbery of a moped. He will return to court for sentencing on 9th March.
Police couldn’t believe their ears on that dreadful day last summer, as call after call came in – revealing there was a cold hearted attacker on the loose. The first alert was to Leytonstone Road, at around 9.30pm, where a corrosive substance was used in an attempt to steal a moped. Around an hour later, the Ambulance Service was attending to a 32 year old man in Hackney Road, at the junction with Queensbridge Road. The victim had had his moped stolen, suffering injuries to his face.
Just a few minutes later, and a 44 year old man suffered facial injuries from a corrosive substance during an attempted moped theft on the Islington/Hackney border. Just after 11pm, a 52 year old man suffered similar injuries in a similar attempted moped theft – this time in Shoreditch High Street.
The evening spree was rounded off by an attack in Hackney’s Cazenove Road, at the junction with Upper Clapton Road, 20 minutes later – and a few minutes later a moped was stolen from a man who had acid thrown in his face in Chatsworth Road.
Two of the victims are still receiving medical treatment for their injuries. The other victims have made a recovery from their physical injuries.
Derryck John was arrested a month after the incidents, after being involved in a road traffic collision involving a stolen moped. Detectives investigated their suspect and charged him after further evidence, including CCTV, was gathered.
DS James Leeks from Hackney CID made it clear that the police are determined to catch those involved in acid attacks, saying, “Derryck John did not think twice about using a life changing and even potentially life-threatening substance against those who resisted his robbery attempts. Acid attacks ruin lives and have no place in our society.
“It beggars belief that anyone would be prepared to scar someone for life and leave them to live with life-changing injuries for the sake of a phone or a moped. We are working hard to keep the public safe and make the streets hostile territory for criminals who steal scooters and use them to snatch valuables from members of the public. We have a particular focus on the small number of criminals prepared to use corrosive substances to do so.
“If someone is in fear of being attacked with acid, or knows someone who is going to use it, they need to report it to police or confidentially through Crimestoppers. Your information will be actioned and you will be fully supported.”
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