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53-year-old Indian-origin man jailed for 20 years over acid attack in UK

Santokh Johal must serve a minimum of 15 years behind bars with the remainder on licence or parole, a judge ruled at Snaresbrook Crown Court this week.

13th December 2019 | 02:03 PM (IST)
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In a shocking incident, a 53-year-old Indian-origin man has been jailed for 20 years by a UK court, after he threw acid on his neighbour in London, after an argument. Santokh Johal, will have to serve 15 years behind bars with the remainder on license or parole, a judge at Snaresbrook Crown Court said.

He was found guilty of throwing a corrosive fluid at his neighbour “with an intent to burn, disfigure or to grievously harm him,” by a jury at the same court .

"This attack was horrific and left the victim with substantial injuries which will serve as a constant reminder for the rest of his life," said Detective Constable Jamie Howden, Metropolitan Police investigating officer from the North East Area's CID.

"Although nothing will heal those scars, the victim can take comfort from knowing that justice has been served," he said, after Johal's sentencing on Tuesday.

The victim, who is in his late 30s, told the police that Johal was standing outside his house and swearing and threatening to stab him. He opened the window to see what was happening, and as soon as Johal saw the window open, he picked up the bottle of acid and threw the substance at him.

Johal then fled the scene, leaving the victim in excruciating pain, as the substance immediately began burning his skin, the Met Police said. Police officers, the London Ambulance Service and the London Fire Brigade found the victim with grey marks over his upper body and arms. He was immediately put in the shower and was taken to the hospital later, where he underwent skin graft surgery on around 20% of his body.

In a statement read to the court, the victim said, "Since this incident, I have not been able to sleep because I often see the defendant in my dreams trying to finish me off. I am constantly watching over my shoulder and if I see someone that looks similar to Johal, I panic and am extremely frightened despite the fact I know he is in custody."

"I will be scarred for life. My body does not feel like my body anymore. Even in hot weather, I am having to dress in long sleeves and jackets just to cover my injuries."

Johal, who attacked the victim following a long-standing neighbour dispute, was arrested on the day of the attack and charged the next day.

It's unfortunate how humans can be extremely cruel and insensitive to other human beings. Where is so much hatred going to take us?

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13th December 2019 | 02:03 PM (IST)
33 views
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