July 31 2014 Latest news:
Freddy Mayhew, Reporter
Thursday, January 23, 2014
The family of Naomi Oni today said they were “glad” of the verdict which saw Mary Konye found guilty of throwing acid in her friend’s face.
Speaking on behalf of the family, friend Sheila MacClean said it had been a “long and torturous road” to find justice.
Mary Konye, 21, of Throckmorton Road, Canning Town, was told to expect a “substantial custodial sentence” by Judge David Radford after a jury of four women and eight men found her guilty of throwing sulphuric acid over Ms Oni along Lodge Avenue, Dagenham, in a planned attack on December 30, 2012.
Konye, who disguised herself in a Muslim veil and used a friend’s Oyster card to carry out the attack showed no sign of emotion as she heard the verdict.
We are glad the verdict came out as the right and truthful one,” said Ms MacClean.
“[Naomi] has reached the end of the tunnel now. As her life was turned upside down two years ago, her job now is to try and get her life back on track again.
“This was a friend and perhaps, that’s the cruellest thing of all, that it was a friend that she’s known for 10 years.”
She said Victoria’s Secret shop assistant Ms Oni never really believed Konye was her attacker until she was forced to, having known the 21-year-old since school.
Det Ch Insp Dave Whellams, who led the investigation, told reporters: “It’s a serious offence, a horrible offence - one that has required a degree of planning, calculation and manipulation.
“[Konye] has prepared for this over a number of months, even years, all resulting from a trivial, insignificant argument that everybody has in their lives.”
DC Wheallams said the defence never really offered a reason for the attack which is believed to have come about after Ms Oni called Konye an “ugly monster” in a row.
He said today’s result would give Ms Oni some “closure” but added: “She’s never going to be away from the fact that she’s scarred.
“Every time she looks in the mirror she will be reminded of it.”