Tracey Kandohla, Daily Mail, July 25 2018
Five men have today appeared in court accused of dousing a three-year-old boy with acid on a family shopping trip.
Adam Cech, 27, Jan Dudi, 25, and Norbert Pulko, 22, who are from Slovakia and live in London, were in the dock with Afghan-national Jabar Paktia, 41, of Wolverhampton.
A 39-year-old man, who is the boy’s father and also from the West Midlands, cannot be named for legal reasons, but appeared alongside the four men.
All five were charged with conspiracy to commit GBH over the incident in Worcester on Saturday and appeared at Kidderminster Magistrates’ Court today.
The sulphuric acid attack was thrown on the toddler, who suffered serious burns to his face and arm, while out he was out at a Home Bargains store in the cathedral city with his Afghan mother last week.
The mother screamed ‘What have you done to my baby?’ after the thugs hurled the pink substance at the youngster in an assault which was captured on CCTV in the discount store.
The child was treated by paramedics at the shop in Tallow Hill and was taken to hospital for further treatment, where he was discharged on Sunday. The boy’s mother has two other children.
It is not known what the long-term implications of his injuries are.
None of the five men entered a plea and sat silently throughout the two-and-a-half hour hearing.
Chairman of the bench Angela Channon remanded Pulko, Dudi and Paktia in custody and adjourned the case until August 28 when they will appear at Worcester Crown Court.
Prosecutor Stephen Davis said: ‘His mother heard the child crying and saw he was holding his arms and couldn’t open his eyes.
‘She had called an ambulance when the child’s face turned red. His t-shirt had a pink substance on it. After an examination it had shown it was sulphuric acid.’
Detective Inspector Jim Bayliss, of West Mercia Police, added: ‘Our officers are continuing to work extremely hard on this investigation.
‘At this time we believe this to be an isolated incident and there is not a wider risk to the public.’