Two men were each sentenced to 14 years in prison for spraying a corrosive liquid on the faces of two women during two violent robberies in March. Both were sentenced at the Old Bailey on Friday, 8 December.
24-year-old Sadik Kamara and 20-year-old Joshua Jordan travelled from Newham to Hackey on the night of the attacks, the Metropolitan Police said. As part of a gang, they first stormed a supermarket, spraying a woman in her 50s with high strength ammonia before she had a chance to react.
After speeding off in a getaway vehicle, Met Police said that they attacked another woman just ten minutes later. As she walked to a friends house from a taxi, two members of the gang pinned her to the ground and sprayed the high strength ammonia in her face. "[I]t was only after the victim was burned by the liquid and lying injured that attempts were made to steal from her," Met Police said in a news release.
The two were seen by a witness laughing as they returned to the getaway car. Authorities said they found the discarded ammonia bottles near the crime scenes.
Though they suffered burn injuries, both victims were promptly treated and neither will be left with permanent disfigurement. Authorities said that the psychological trauma forced the shopkeeper to leave her job.
After extensive investigations using CCTV footage, police raided two home addresses in May 2017 and arrested Kamara and Jordan. The two were convicted on two counts of applying corrosive fluid with intent to burn, main, disfigure or disable or to inflict grievous bodily harm, one count of robbery and one count of attempted robbery.
Judge Dodd QC said he believed the pair presented significant risk to the public of further harm and called the attacks "horrifying, cruel and barbaric".
"The behaviour of both Kamara and Jordan was cowardly in the extreme." Detective Constable Ben Kahane said. "Five physically strong males preying on lone, slightly built women to attack and rob. The use of ammonia to burn their victims was completely unnecessary to achieve their aim to steal. I hope they use the 14 years' imprisonment that they have received to reflect on this."