Schoolgirl detained over music room acid attack

Claudine Rigal
Août 8, 2017

A TEENAGE girl attacked a love rival in her school orchestra with ACID after she started dating her ex-boyfriend.

Emily Bowen poured drain cleaner into a viola case owned by Molly Young, who was severely injured when she pulled it from a shelf and acidic liquid poured from the case over her legs.

As she took the instrument from a shelf, acid poured from the case and the talented musician was left screaming in agony with severe burns on her legs.

Ms Young was badly hurt after the acid spilled over her legs at Knox Academy in Haddington, East Lothian.

Bowen, now 18, previously admitted to recklessly and culpably pouring sulphuric acid into a viola case in the knowledge it would be removed from a shelf by the victim, causing sulphuric acid to spill onto her legs, on September 29 past year.

Bowen planned the attack by buying drain cleaner online, before sneaking into the school's music room and pouring the substance, which was 91% sulphuric acid, into the viola case.

Sheriff Michael O'Grady QC said: 'In the period leading up to these events you actually researched this topic and you of all people should have been aware of the potentially horrendous consequences for any young woman maimed by this mechanism.

Sentencing Bowen to 21 months' imprisonment at Edinburgh Sheriff Court, Sheriff Michael O'Grady described the acid attack as "utterly wicked".

Sheriff O'Grady said he had no option but to jail the 18-year-old acid attacker for 21 months.

He also banned her from contacting Miss Young after making her the subject of a five-year non-harassment order. When police seized her phone, they found evidence of her researching acid attacks and how long attackers are jailed for.

'When the victim went into the strings room she was aware of an eggy smell, ' he said.

'She then took down her case and she was immediately aware of red liquid spilling from the bottom of the case and landing on her right leg'.

The victim was taken to Edinburgh Royal Infirmary and later transferred to St John's Hospital in Livingston, West Lothian, for plastic surgery.

Bowen was seen crouching in the otherwise empty classroom by a fellow pupil minutes before the attack.

Defence solicitor Jim Stephenson said his client had recently been diagnosed with autism and was suffering from depression and "struggles to deal with things".

Sheriff O'Grady told the acid attacker: "You should understand there is now a very real public concern and fear about the emergence of this terrible substance".

But the sheriff added: "The courts will not tolerate the use of acid for any criminal act".

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