1. ITV Report

Father found guilty of organising acid attack on his three-year-old son

A father has been found guilty of plotting an acid attack on his three-year-old son.

The 40-year-old man, who cannot be named in order to protect his son, was convicted today after the incident in Worcester last summer.

The court heard he was involved in a bitter custody battle with the boy's mother, and had organised the attack in an attempt to win more contact with the child by showing that she was unfit to care for him.

The boy suffered serious burns to his arms and face after the attack, which happened in a Home Bargains store in Worcester in July 2018. He has since made a 'good recovery'.

The boy, who had been playing with his brother in the store, ran away screaming 'I hurt', the jury was told. Credit: West Mercia Police

A six-week trial at Worcester Crown Court was told that the youngster, who cannot be identified due to his age, suffered serious injuries to his face and arm at a Home Bargains store in the Tallow Hill area.

In CCTV footage shown to the court, the boy can be seen with his brother looking at toy footballs when a man wearing a white t-shirt and holding something walks past the pair and squirts liquid at one of the children.

The victim can then be seen running away from the assailant and the jury were told he screamed "I hurt" over and over again while looking for his mother.

Other CCTV footage obtained by police revealed that the mother had been followed to the shop by a silver Vauxhall Vectra allegedly containing three of the men involved in the attack.

The Crown alleged that the father, aggrieved by his wife walking out on him in 2016, enlisted others to attack his son - in a bid to win more contact with the child by showing that his mother was unfit to care for him.

The boy is said to have made a "good recovery" in the months since the attack but doctors say it is too early to tell whether he will suffer permanent scarring as a result of his injuries.

Since the attack he has been living with his mother.

In a victim impact statement read to court by prosecution barrister Will Martin, she said if the father was released from jail she would be "in greater danger than before" because the father is "the kind of person that honour matters everything to."

She gave an example of a time she watched a YouTube video with the defendant, about a girl who was killed by her father.

She said: "While watching I commented 'that's impossible how can a father kill his daughter?'

"He said 'his daughter must have done something wrong - that's our culture. They call it honour killing. This is the way of our culture."'

She added: "This is what he believes."

Jurors deliberated for nine hours before convicting the father, from Wolverhampton but originally from Afghanistan, on Wednesday.

Jurors also convicted co-conspirators Adam Cech, Jan Dudi, Norbert Pulko, Jabar Paktia, and Saied Hussini of plotting to spray sulphuric acid on the boy with intent to cause harm.

Five other defendants (Left to right; Adam Cech, Jan Dudi, Norbert Pulko, Saied Hussini, Jabar Paktia) were found guilty Credit: .

23-year-old Martina Badiova, of Newcombe Road in Handsworth, Birmingham has been found not guilty of conspiring to carry out the acid attack.