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Canning Town student accused of acid attack claims she is victim of “conspiracy”

18:45 16 January 2014

Acid attack victim Naomi Oni after attack

Acid attack victim Naomi Oni after attack

Archant

Alleged acid attacker Mary Konye told jurors she was the victim of a “conspiracy” and that evidence heard in court against her was “all lies”.

The 21-year-old student claimed her childhood friend Naomi Oni was “playing the victim” when she said she was scared to go back to the scene of the alleged attack.

Victoria’s Secret worker Ms Oni, also 21, was allegedly doused in sulphuric acid as she walked home from work along Lodge Avenue, Dagenham, in the early hours of December 30, 2012.

Under questioning at Snaresbrook Crown Court from prosecutor Gareth Patterson about her alleged involvement Konye replied: “I regret ever being a part of it.”

She repeatedly denied claims she had carried out the attack on her own to jurors at Snaresbrook Crown Court, instead insisting that together they had both planned it over three months and used the acid attack on disfigured model Katie Piper in 2008 as a “reference”.

She also denied ever threatening to throw acid over Ms Oni, as was alleged by multiple witnesses, after supposedly being called an “ugly monster” by her.

“I would never go out of my way to destroy someone’s image because of a word called ‘ugly’,” she said.

“I have known Naomi for so long and we have had several disagreements and not once have I raised a threat against her.

“I don’t know why people are conspiring against me and making up these lies. It’s a conspiracy.”

Konye, a former University of Hertfordshire business student, said the pair had agreed to carry out their plan three days beforehand.

She said Ms Oni had acknowledged her as she followed behind in a black Muslim veil on the night of the alleged attack, but claimed she was not carrying the acid that has left Ms Oni with life-changing facial injuries.

Instead she claimed the lingerie shop assistant had poured the corrosive liquid on herself after she had made her way home.

“I never attacked her. I never had acid. As soon as I got off the bus I tapped her and told her I was going on my way [home],” she said.

Mr Patterson said her defence was “silly” and “nonsense” to which Konye replied: “She [Ms Oni] fabricated the whole story.”

Hearing that Ms Oni had been scared to return to her family home near the scene of the alleged attack, Konye said: “That was all a part of playing the victim.

“She’s already planned ahead the things she was going to say to the police.”

Konye, of Throckmorton Road, Canning Town, denies the charge of applying corrosive fluid with intent to disfigure, maim or cause grievous bodily harm.

The trial continues.

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