Page last updated at 17:08 GMT, Monday, 10 May 2010 18:08 UK

Men guilty of 'web affair' revenge acid attack

Awais Akram before the acid attack
Awais Akram was described by police as "incredible young man"

Three men have been found guilty of dousing a man with petrol over his relationship with a married woman.

Awais Akram, 25, was disfigured in the attack, in Leytonstone, last July, for a relationship with Sadia Khatoon, 24.

Her brother Mohammed Vakas, 26, of Walthamstow, was found guilty of conspiracy to murder.

Mohammed Adeel, 20 and a 17-year-old boy were cleared of conspiracy to murder and found guilty of conspiracy to cause grievous bodily harm.

Awais Akram
My whole body started to burn
Awais Akram

The court heard that Mr Akram of Walthamstow, met Ms Khatoon, also from that area, on Facebook and online messenger service MSN.

When Mrs Khatoon's husband Shakeel Abassi found out about the online conversations, he got his wife to lure the victim out of his flat, where concentrated sulphuric acid was poured over his head.

The jury was told that during the attack the men received instructions from Mr Abassi, 32, who was in a hotel room near Heathrow with his wife.

Mrs Khatoon and her husband later disappeared in Pakistan and detectives said they now feared for her safety.

Danish-born Mr Akram cried as he gave evidence at the trial, saying he was in so much pain at the time that he wanted to die.

"My whole body started to burn," he said.

He suffered 47% burns during the attack in which he was also beaten and stabbed.

Mr Akram was also left blind in his right eye, suffered facial fractures and had to have both ears amputated.

'Begged for help'

Prosecutor David Markham said: "A witness was to see the victim as he begged for help, with his clothes in tatters and literally falling off him from the acid and blood coming from his nose and eyes and covering his bare chest.

Mohammed Vakas (l) and Mohammed Adeel
Mohammed Vakas (l) and Mohammed Adeel attacked Mr Akram in July

"The witness told police the figure looked like a cross between a zombie from a horror movie and the Incredible Hulk."

The 91%-strength acid that caused the injuries was likely to have been from a bottle of "Give It One Shot" drain cleaner which was found nearby, the court heard.

Speaking about the relationship, Mr Akram said they ended up seeing each other nearly every day and, although it did not go beyond kisses and touching, it was clear to him she "did not want to have sexual relations".

Mrs Khatoon was jealous about his plans to go to Pakistan to get married but the wedding went ahead in May, the court heard.

She gave him some money for a flight back to Britain without his new bride, who did not have a visa.

Acid attack man wanted to die

Mrs Khatoon set him up in a flat in Leytonstone before suggesting they should get together in Pakistan and offering to pay for his journey.

In the early hours of 2 July she called him and told him to go to an internet cafe to print out an e-ticket and he walked into the trap, the Old Bailey was told.

Police hailed the victim's bravery in coming forward to give evidence against his attackers despite being deeply traumatised by what happened.

One officer described Mr Akram as an "incredible young man".



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SEE ALSO
Acid attack victim sobs in court
15 Apr 10 |  London
Web affair 'led to acid attack'
13 Apr 10 |  London

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