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Acid attacker who severely injured aspiring model and cousin jailed for 16 years

Resham Khan and Jameel Muhktar received horrific injuries to their faces and bodies in the attack on Ms Khan’s 21st birthday.

A man who hurled acid through a car window at an aspiring model and her cousin has been jailed for 16 years.

Resham Khan and Jameel Muhktar suffered horrific injuries to their faces and bodies in the unprovoked attack on Ms Khan’s 21st birthday in Beckton, east London.

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A CCTV image of John Tomlin throwing a substance into a car (Metropolitan Police/PA)

John Tomlin, 25, was sentenced at Snaresbrook Crown Court on Friday to 16 years imprisonment with a four year extended licence.

The cousins had “no previous dealings” with their attacker and Judge Sheelagh Canavan previously described the assault as “somewhat random”.

Both victims and their families were in court as the sentence was passed.

No sentence I impose can ever give back to the victims what you took from them Judge Sheelagh Canavan

Tomlin, who sat in the dock wearing a blue tracksuit and large silver crucifix, did not show any emotion during the hearing.

Judge Canavan said: “No sentence I impose can ever give back to the victims what you took from them on June 21.

“The court can only hope that in time and with help they can begin to put the consequences of your unprovoked attack behind them. It is undoubtedly a life’s work.”

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John Tomlin in a shop while trying to evade police (Metropolitan Police/PA)

Tomlin hurled acid through both front windows of the Renault Clio as it was pulled up on Tollgate Road at 9.13am on Wednesday June 21 2017.

He was seen on CCTV chasing after the car and emptying the bottle of acid over Mr Muhktar as he sped away.

Witnesses described seeing the victims “jumping around as if they were on fire” in the road as their clothing “literally melted off them on to the ground”.

Judge Canavan described their injuries as “dreadful and life changing”.

She added: “It is becoming all too common an occurrence on our streets that members of the public are pouring water over people who have had acid thrown over them, as if this is some sort of fashionable assault that is being carried out.”

Tomlin, of Colman Road, Canning Town, was arrested after handing himself in to the police a month later and said in interview that he was “hearing voices in my head”.

He pleaded guilty to two counts of intending to cause grievous bodily harm on the first day of his trial in November 2017.

He has been diagnosed as emotionally unstable with a personality disorder and has a number of previous convictions, including violent offences, robbery, burglaries and theft, the court heard.

Both victims read statements to the court about the devastating impact their injuries have had on their lives.

I need all the help I can get, I just want to die Jameel Muhktar

Mr Muhktar said he felt “emotionally wrecked” and “in continuous pain” after the attack.

He has permanent scarring to his head, neck and body, lost hearing in one ear and suffers from psychological problems since the attack and wanted to take his own life.

He told doctors during one hospital admission: “I need all the help I can get, I just want to die.

“I worry if I’m on my on I might do something.”

He added: “I’m not getting better. I’m getting worse.

“If I was dead I would not have to go through this pain.”

My 21st birthday turned into a day where my face was taken away from me Resham Khan

University student Ms Khan also carries lifelong scars to her face, particularly her eyes.

She has suffered from severe depression and anxiety as a result of the attack and also tried to take her own life.

“My 21st birthday turned into a day where my face was taken away from me,” she said.

“No matter what his sentence may be these injuries will affect me for the rest of my life.”

Ms Khan said: “I don’t think this is about name calling, I think it’s about setting myself aside from other types of people in life.

“I hope to push through and get on as if it never happened.”

She thanked all the medical staff and police who have helped her.

Dc Paul Newton said: “This was a horrific incident that took place on Resham’s 21st birthday.

“We would like to give our thanks to those who did come out to make sure they were getting doused in water as their injuries could have been far worse.”

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