Amid a custody battle with his ex-wife, a father has been found guilty and sentenced to 16 years in prison on Wednesday for a “monstrous” acid attack on his three-year-old son in Worcester, England, according to BBC.
Taking place at a Home Bargains store last July, the father orchestrated the attack by enlisting five other men to carry out the plan, all of whom were found guilty. Altogether, the six men will serve a combined total of 78 years in jail.
Captured on CCTV footage, the child and his brother were looking at soccer balls when Adam Cech, 27, walked past and sprayed acid on his face and arms through a medicine-type bottle. Reacting to the strong acid, which might have come from a car battery, the child screamed “I hurt” and ran to his mother, who called emergency services. (RELATED: 1,500 Acid Attacks Hit London Since 2011)
The boy was treated for serious burns to his arms and face, and made a good recovery. However, the child “was left scarred for life as a result of this attack,” according to a police report.
The mother and the ex-wife of the convicted father was “devastated” and had repeated “nightmares about what happened that day.”
“It has been extremely hard to accept that my three-year-old child has been attacked in such a way and that his father was behind this,” said the mother in a statement. “How will I explain this to my son? I don’t think I will ever forgive any of those involved for what they have put my family through.”
Having been left by his wife, who also took all three children in 2016, the father planned out the attack with the intention to “burn, maim or disfigure” the child in an effort to depict the mother as incapable of providing care, thus gaining increased custody of his son. (RELATED: UK Weighs Life Sentences For Acid Attacks)
“It is hard for the family, the officers, and the community to comprehend how a family member could organize an attack of this nature on such a young child,” said Worcester Superintendent Damian Pettit.
Six men have been #jailed for a combined total of 78 years after being found #guilty of an acid attack on a three-year-old boy in #Worcester in July last year. https://t.co/erVDdfGjQz pic.twitter.com/6QzXxb0w0P
— West Mercia Police (@WMerciaPolice) March 6, 2019
Six were charged in the attack, including the father, who was not named for legal reasons. A seventh defendant was not found guilty of the same charges.
“It is an extraordinary thing in this case that not one of you, most of whom have no previous convictions, most of who with families of your own, at any stage stood back and asked the question of yourself and others: ‘what are we doing,'” wondered Judge Robert Juckes, who sentenced the men.
Prior to the convicted attack, prosecutors claimed that there had been an “aborted attack” at a school eight days earlier by the men. (RELATED: Video Shows Left-Wing Activists Plotting To Use Butyric Acid At Trump Event)
“We hope that now the perpetrators are behind bars, the family can start to focus on the future, and I think I can speak for everyone at the West Mercia Police in saying we wish them a healthy and happy future,” said Pettit.
“It shocks me to think that people could be involved with doing this to a defenseless child and I’m glad that they have been brought to justice and will be punished for what they have done,” said the mother. “I hope nobody has to go through what we have experienced.”