Boy, 16, found guilty of acid attack at secondary school in Barking and Dagenham
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A 16-year-old boy has been found guilty of throwing acid into a group of his fellow pupils at a secondary school in Barking and Dagenham.
Today at at Barkingside Youth Court he avoided a custodial sentence and will instead serve a 12 month referral order.
The boy, who is from the borough but cannot be named for legal reasons, was playing basketball with his friends when the game was interrupted by a group of his peers fighting over some cash on the floor.
The court heard Ii was at that point the boy squirted acid from a bottle he was handed onto the group, resulting in two pupils being taken to hospital.
Two girls sustained injuries - one to the face and one to the vagina, the court heard.
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The court was shown images of the girls’ face after the attack, which was covered with red marks and blistered skin.
Her eye was also injured, but doctors hope she will go on to make a full recovery.
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However their wounds were not only physical and the victims were left suffering “mental torment,” the chair magistrate said.
A statement was read out from one of the girls who had been injured.
“I have nightmares about being beaten up by [him] and his friends,” it said.
Both the boy’s parents were in attendance and were both called on to speak.
His father said it had brought “deep shame” to their family, no member of which had been prosecuted before.
As part of the referral order, the boy will appear before a panel focused on restorative justice.
Together they will discuss a way for amends to be made - this could be via a written apology, a face to face meeting or some other course of action.
The judge said the boy had come “very close” to being given a custodial sentence and if he reoffends will “almost certainly” find himself in a youth offenders institute.
“I am deeply, deeply sorry,” said the 16-year-old when called upon by the chief magistrate.
His lawyer said the boy had a good family support network to help ensure this is the only court appearance he ever makes.
“You have got your whole life ahead of you,” said the chief magistrate.
Leaning forward to make his final address, he sternly said: “I never want to see you in here again.”