Father denies plotting acid attack on three-year-old son in custody row
A three-year-old boy was hit in the face with acid in an attack organised by his father, a court has heard.
The man, who cannot be named for legal reasons, is alleged to have plotted with six others to “manufacture” evidence to show his wife could not care for their son, as they were embroiled in a custody battle.
The boy suffered serious burns to his face and arm when he was hit at the Home Bargains store in Worcester, on 21 July 2018.
His father, 40, is charged with conspiring to throw sulphuric acid on the boy with intent to burn, maim, disfigure or disable him, or to cause grievous bodily harm.
He stands alongside Adam Cech, 27, and Jan Dudi, 25, both from Birmingham, Norbert Pulko, 22, from London, Martina Badiova, 22, from Handsworth, Birmingham, Saied Hussini, 41, from London, and Jabar Paktia, 41, from Wolverhampton.
They all face the same charge as the father and deny the allegation.
Jonathan Rees, prosecuting, told Worcester Crown Court: “This case concerns a cowardly attack on a defenceless three-year-old boy in which he was squirted with a solution of sulphuric acid.
“As a result of the attack, the little boy suffered acid burns to his left forearm and his forehead which were treated in hospital.
“Thankfully, due to the quick actions of a member of staff, the seriousness of the injuries was limited and, although it is too early to say whether or not there will be any residual marking, the victim had made a good recovery.”
The court heard how the young boy was on a shopping trip with with his mother and siblings when he was attacked.
Mr Rees said the attack was carried out by Cech.
He said: “It was over almost in the blink of the eye and may have gone undetected were it not for the fact it was captured on the shop’s internal CCTV system.
“At the time he carried out the attack, Cech was accompanied by two other defendants in the store, namely the third and fourth defendants, Jan Dudi and Norbert Pulko.”
Mr Rees said the prosecution’s case is that the attack was not the first time the boy had been targeted.
He told the jury: “The prosecution allege that the driving force behind these events was, in fact, the father of the child.
“In April 2016, his wife had left him taking their three children with her and in due course, she issued divorced proceedings.
“The prosecution say that it will become apparent the first defendant took the separation badly.
“By the time of the attack he had been granted fortnightly supervised contact with his children. However, he was seeking greater access and was pursuing a court application to this effect.
“This application was being opposed by his wife. We say the evidence suggests that in an effort to ensure his application was successful he was willing to manufacture evidence of injuries to his children in an attempt to show that his wife was unable properly to care for them, in other words she was an unfit mother.
“Although the prosecution are not required to prove motive against any of the defendants, we suggest that his desire to show his wife in a bad light may have provided at least some of the motivation for him organising this attack on his son.
“It would enable him to say to the court that the child had sustained nasty injuries while he was in the care of his mother.
“Whilst we say the attack had its roots in his unhappy domestic situation, we allege that he enlisted others to help him carry out his plan.”
The trial continues.