September 21 2014 Latest news:
Freddy Mayhew, Reporter
Friday, March 21, 2014
Acid attack victim Naomi Oni has today told how dealing with her life-changing injuries has been a “battle” that has left her at times suicidal.
The 22-year-old did not attend court to hear the sentencing of her convicted attacker Mary Konye, also 22, which is expected this afternoon.
Konye was found guilty in January of the attack in Lodge Avenue, Dagenham, on December 30, 2012, which left Naomi with severe scarring to her face.
University business and finance student Konye showed little emotion as she sat in the dock at Snaresbrook Crown Court.
In a statement read out in court, Naomi said: “Prior to the incident in December 2012 I was what I considered to be a normal 20-year-old girl and did most things girls my age did.
“I was with a steady relationship with my boyfriend and was in a job that I liked.
“I did not have any cares or worries.
“I looked forward to the future and dreamt of doing something in make-up and beauty.
“This all changed on the day I was attacked with acid and my life was completely turned upside down.
“From that day forward everything has been a challenge and a battle just to get by each day.”
The court heard how she spent 26 days in hospital following the attack, requiring numerous surgical operations.
She has to wear a silicon face mask 24 hours a day for the next two years to help reduce her scarring.
Ms Oni also said she would need laser treatment to improve the vision in her eye which had been partially damaged by the sulphuric acid.
She added: “Maybe I feel violated that the person who did this has left their mark on me.
“My injuries are due to the carefully planned actions of an evil and wicked person.
“Whatever happens to Mary she and her family can continue with their lives.
“The fact she never admitted it just adds insult to injury.
“She still has never shown one shred of remorse. It has been so painful to listen to her telling lie after lie.
“I just feel I have been part of a game to her. There’s nothing I could have done to stop her.”
In mitigation, defence barrister Sally O’Neill told the court Konye had finally accepted she was the person who threw the acid.
Throughout the trial she claimed it had been Naomi herself who had caused her own injuries as part of a plot by the pair to earn fame and fortune from media interest in the case, using disfigured model Katie Piper’s story as a reference.
But Ms O’Neill said: “There are no winners in this case at all, whatever way one looks at it.”
She also said Konye had been the subject of threats by other inmates to “burn her and harm her”.
Judge David Radford is expected to hand out a substantial custodial sentence when the court session resumes this afternoon.