Nine UK men have been hailed for a horrific homophobic acid attack and assault which took place on May 5 in the Dalston district of the London borough of Hackney.
The gang’s leader, Huseyin Onel, led the assault on the first of three victims, stomping and kicking him after he had approached one of the men in a vehicle.
A second victim began filming the attack, and was subsequently attacked as the first victim fled. The second victim’s friends joined in to defend him, and a torrent of acid was sprayed by Onel into their faces as they were assaulted by the gang of nine.
The Hackney Gazette reported: ‘Onel squirted a corrosive substance from a plastic bottle into the second victim’s face and eyes while targeting others who tried to step in. He suffered a fractured eye socket and was lucky to escape with his eyesight intact – his recovery was described by doctors as “miraculous”. Another person suffered burns to their tongue. The suspects then got into three cars and drove from the scene, shouting homophobic comments at members of the group, and claiming that they “run Hackney”.’
Police released CCTV video of the attack following the sentencing:
Onel was sentenced to 17 years in prison, and his accomplices were sentenced to between 18 months and 14 1/2 years, according to the Gazette.
Said Det Con David Leitner: “Nine violent and dangerous men have been removed from London’s streets today and will now spend a lengthy time locked up in prison. The level of violence used in this attack, coupled with the speed that this incident escalated, are truly shocking. A group of people who were enjoying themselves at the end of a night out were subjected to a sustained and relentless wave of violence including the use of a corrosive substance – because they acted as good Samaritans to help a male being subjected to a vicious assault. The original victim who was attacked by the group has never been traced but I hope he, and all those who were set upon by this violent group of individuals, will take some comfort from the fact that this group has been convicted.”