The mother of a three-year-old victim of an acid attack which was allegedly organised by his own father has told a court how he threatened to have her and the couple’s three young children killed.
The woman, who can’t be named for legal reasons, said her 40-year-old estranged husband had made the threats in 2012 after she left him for three days and took shelter with their children at a refuge.
Speaking via a video link at Worcester Crown Court, the mother said he had begged her to return home from the refuge saying he loved her and couldn’t live without her and the children.
She told the jury: “I called him from the refuge and he kept crying. He was being nice to me saying he won’t hurt me again.”
But when she moved back to the family home in the West Midlands, he told her he had lied and said he had cried only because he felt “humiliated” at his wife’s departure.
Instead, the taxi-driver confronted her with two chilling options, the court heard.
Dressed all in black the mother took a deep breath before telling the jury: “He told me, he has two options.
“He could kill me and the children in this country, and that he doesn’t care about the police and jail.
“Second, he might take us out the country, to an Islamic country, and do anything to us, and nobody would ask about us.“
She added: “He told me he knows somebody who could do something for him and not even the police would find their bodies.”
Earlier the court heard how the father told his wife that he had consulted an Islamic preacher to ask if it was permissible to kill his wife and children for having left him.
“The imam told him it wasn’t allowed and that he should go to the mosque and pray instead,” she said.
The couple had been married in Pakistan in February 2006 and the woman moved to the UK eight months later, giving birth to their first child shortly after.
She told the court that by October 2012 the couple’s relationship had become strained and she left for the refuge centre before returning to him three days later.
“When I got home and he made those threats I felt very disappointed, gutted and stupid for coming back to him,” she told the court.
The mother left again with the couple’s children for another refuge in April 2016 and initiated divorce proceedings, prompting her husband to battle for custody of the children.
She said: “I called him from the refuge and he startled crying and said he would have an accident or a heart attack and die.
“He also called my family and put emotional pressure on them for me and the children to return but I didn’t want to this time.”
Earlier the court heard how the couple’s youngest child, a three-year-old boy had screamed “I hurt” over and over again after being squirted with sulphuric acid in an attack allegedly organised by his father.
Prosecutor Jonathan Rees QC told the jury that the attack was an effort to portray his wife in a “bad light” and as an “unfit mother” in front of a court which was considering his application for greater access to their children.
The three-year-old, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, suffered serious burns to his face and arm at the Home Bargains store in Worcester on July 21 last year, during a parental custody dispute triggered by his father.
The boy’s 40-year-old father, who can’t be named for legal reasons, is charged with conspiring to unlawfully or maliciously cast or throw sulphuric acid on or at the boy between June 1 and July 22, with intent to burn, maim, disfigure or disable the minor, or do some grievous bodily harm to him.
The Crown alleged the father, stung by his wife walking out on him and taking the children in April 2016, “enlisted others” to attack the youngster, in a bid to win more contact with the child.
Rees, opening the case, said: “We say the evidence suggests that in an effort to ensure his application was successful he was willing to manufacture evidence of injuries to his children in an attempt to show that his wife was unable properly to care for them, in other words she was an unfit mother.”
Also facing the same charge are: Adam Cech, 27, of Farnham Road, and Jan Dudi, 25, of Cranbrook Road, both Birmingham; Norbert Pulko, 22, of Sutherland Road, London; Martina Badiova, 22, of Newcombe Road, Handsworth, Birmingham; Saied Hussini, 42, of Wrottesley Road, London; and Jabar Paktia, 42, of Newhampton Road, Wolverhampton.
They all deny the allegation.