Zoe Drewett, Metro, January 9, 2018
A 17-year-old boy admitted carrying out a spate of acid attacks against moped riders in a bid to steal their vehicles.
Derryck John, from Croydon, south London, targeted six riders in the north and east of the capital in less than 90 minutes on July 13 last year.
Earlier reporting restrictions had banned identification of the defendant due to his age.
But judge Noel Lucas QC told Wood Green Crown Court there was an ‘overwhelming, huge public interest’ in identifying the teenager after he pleaded guilty to 12 counts.
John sprayed his victims in the face with a noxious liquid, which police said left one with ‘life-changing injuries’.
The substance used is thought to have had a PH of one or two, the court heard.
He stole two mopeds and tried to take another four from their owners, before being arrested at around 3am on July 14.
On Monday he pleaded guilty to six counts of throwing a corrosive liquid with intent to ‘disable, burn, maim, disfigure or cause grievous bodily harm’ two counts of robbery and four counts of attempted robbery.
Another unidentified person is listed on the indictment as also having been involved in the attacks.
John earlier denied the charges and had been due to stand trial.
Judge Lucas, reading a note from the defendant, said the guilty pleas were entered ‘on the basis that the acid was thrown to incapacitate the victims’ and that ‘the other male involved was much older than me’.
He said: ‘I really didn’t appreciate the damage that would be done. I’m terrified of the sentence that I will receive and I’m very sorry for what I did and realise I will receive a significant sentence of imprisonment.’
John did not enter a plea on a further charge of robbery on June 25. The count will be dealt with at sentencing.
His mother sobbed and shouted as she left court after the pleas were made.
Judge Lucas said there was a ‘very strong public interest’ in naming the defendant.
He said: ‘This is a case where there is an overwhelming, huge public interest in the public knowing both about the fact of the offence and in the identification of the perpetrator and his age.’
Sentencing will take place on March 9 at Wood Green Crown Court.