"Because of this incident, I rarely leave my house"
Santokh Johal, aged 53, of Leyton, east London, was jailed for 20 years after he subjected his neighbour to an acid attack during an argument.
Snaresbrook Crown Court heard that the victim called police at 6:57 pm on January 4, 2019, saying that Johal was outside his house swearing and threatening to stab him.
While still talking to police, the man opened his lounge window.
When Johal saw the window open, he picked up a bottle that he had brought with him and squirted the substance at the victim.
Johal then fled, leaving the victim in severe pain as the substance immediately began burning his skin.
Police, paramedics and the fire service attended and found the victim with grey marks over his upper body and arms. The victim was then put in the shower and hosed off with water.
The victim was rushed to hospital where he underwent skin graft surgery on around 20% of his body.
He continues to attend a specialist burns hospital in Essex once a month for rehabilitation and therapy. The expected time frame for this treatment is indefinite.
Specialist officers examined the substance used in the acid attack. It was identified as 91% sulphuric acid. It was also highly acidic as it measured at pH1.
It was revealed that a long-standing dispute between the victim and Johal had led to the acid attack.
Johal was arrested on January 4 and charged the same day.
On June 14, 2019, Johal was found guilty of throwing a corrosive fluid with intent to burn, maim, disfigure or to do grievous bodily harm.
The victim said in a statement: “Since this incident, I have not been able to sleep because I often see the defendant in my dreams trying to finish me off.
“I am constantly watching over my shoulder and if I see someone that looks similar to Mr Johal, I panic and am extremely frightened despite the fact I know he is in custody.
“I will be scarred for life. My body does not feel like my body anymore. Even in hot weather, I am having to dress in long sleeves and jackets just to cover my injuries.
“Because of this incident, I rarely leave my house these days. I do not want to face the public. I do not want people looking at me and making me feel paranoid.
“This crime has changed my life forever in such a negative way. I am constantly feeling anxious and this has taken me away from having a normal quality of life.
“When this attack took place, I went and stayed with my brother for around three weeks.
“This was difficult for me as I felt like a burden on someone else as he had to assist me with everyday activities such as getting dressed, washing and eating.
“I could not do the things I used to do.”
“As far as I am concerned, Mr Johal has got what he wanted and he has ruined me for life.”
“I have tried to come to terms with everything over the last eight months but still, I am haunted by the defendant and have had to accept that he has shown no remorse for invading my life and my existence.”
On December 10, 2019, Johal was sentenced to 20 years imprisonment, to serve a minimum of 15 years with the remainder on a licence.
Detective Constable Jamie Howden, of the North East Area’s CID, said:
“This attack was horrific and left the victim with substantial injuries which will serve as a constant reminder for the rest of his life.
“Although nothing will heal those scars, the victim can take comfort from knowing that justice has been served.”