A teenager has been jailed for ten and a half years after carrying out six acid attacks against moped riders in Shoreditch and Stoke Newington, as well as Stratford and Islington in just two hours.
Derryck John, 17, from Thornton Heath, was sentenced today after the attacks on 13 July last year. Along with an accomplice, he attempted to steal the mopeds of his victims who were stopped at red lights. On each occasion, acid was thrown in the face of the victims by John and his accomplice.
Sentencing, Judge Noel Lucas QC said John’s actions were ‘both despicable and callous’ and that the pair ‘chose to attack members of the public who were going about their lawful business.’
He had previously pleaded guilty to six counts of throwing a corrosive liquid with intent to “disable, burn, maim, disfigure or cause grievous bodily harm”, as well as two counts of robbery and four counts of attempted robbery.
Their crime spree began in Penny Brookes Street, Stratford, when a moped rider was pursued by the pair at 9.30pm, but lost them. The pair then threw acid in the face of 32-year-old UberEats driver Jabed Hussain in Hackney, and at another 44 year-old man on St Paul’s Road, Islington at 10.49pm.
The attackers then travelled to Shoreditch High Street and attacked a 52-year old man, before a 24-year old man had acid thrown at him on Cazenove Road, Stoke Newington at 11.18pm.
John and his accomplice, who has not been caught, then bought petrol on Mare Street before attacking a 33-year-old on Chatsworth Road, Lower Clapton and stealing his moped.
The teen was caught after crashing a stolen bike into a parked lorry in Dalston at 3am. He was identified from earlier CCTV footage taken when he lifted his helmet to pay for £5 of petrol.
During the trial in January at Wood Green Crown Court, victims described life-changing injuries, with one man losing 30 per cent of his vision.
Others have been forced to quit their jobs and lost confidence following the devastating attacks.
The judge added that John has not revealed the name of his older accomplice or how he obtained the acid used in the attacks, which ranged from pH levels one and two – the strongest available.
John, who was 16 at the time of the attacks, was already on bail for theft and possession of drugs, and has a previous conviction for arson.