Murray Wardrop, Telegraph (London), May 1, 2009
An aspiring model and television presenter who was raped by a man she met on Facebook and then had acid thrown in her face described her ordeal as “worse than death”.
The 25-year-old was left partially blind in one eye, suffered third-degree burns and can now only eat through a plastic tube after a cup of sulphuric acid was thrown in her face.
A court heard her harrowing testimony as martial arts expert Daniel Lynch, 33, and Stefan Sylvestre, 20, were jailed for life over the two attacks which have left her a “broken woman”.
The woman, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was beaten and raped by Lynch in March last year after he met her on the social networking website.
A few days later, his accomplice Sylvestre calmly approached her in the street in Golders Green, north London, and threw a cup of sulphuric acid in her face.
She suffered severe burns to her face and neck which have left her disfigured for life and can no longer swallow after some of the acid spilt down her throat.
In an impact statement read to London’s Wood Green Crown Court, the woman said: “I have lost my future, my career, my spirit, my body, my looks, my dignity–the list goes on.
“All I am left with is an empty shell. A part of me has died that will never come back. This is worse than death. Being beaten, raped and mutilated with acid has left me feeling like a living corpse.”
Lynch, who had become obsessed with the woman after seeing her on television, was found guilty of rape at a trial in March. The steroid addict, of Shepherds Bush, London, admitted actual bodily harm and was found guilty of grievous bodily harm at previous hearings.
Sylvestre, also of Shepherds Bush, pleaded guilty to grievous bodily harm for the attack at an earlier hearing.
Passing sentence, Judge Nicholas Browne QC said: “(The victim) had a face of pure beauty. You, Danny Lynch and Stefan Sylvestre, represent the face of pure evil. The facts of this case are chilling and shocking.
“You planned and then executed an act of pure, calculated and deliberate evil.”