Man jailed after throwing acid over neighbour leaving him 'scarred for life' in long-running feud

12 December 2019, 16:21

By Megan White

A man who left his neighbour severely burnt after throwing acid over him amid a long-running feud has been jailed for 20 years.

Santokh Johal’s victim was so badly burnt he had skin graft surgery on 20 per cent of his body and still attends a burns hospital once a month, almost a year after the attack in east London.

In an emotional statement read to Snaresbrook Crown Court, the victim described how they have been left “unable to sleep” since the attack and will be “scarred for life.”

Police were called by the victim, aged in his 30s, at 7pm on 4 January, and he said Johal was outside his house in Leyton swearing and threatening to stab him.

While still on the phone to police, the victim opened his lounge window.

Santokh Johal has been jailed for 20 years
Santokh Johal has been jailed for 20 years. Picture: Metropolitan Police

As soon as Johal, 53, saw the window open, he squirted the substance - later identified as being 91 per cent sulphuric acid - at the victim.

He then fled, leaving his victim in excruciating pain as the substance immediately began burning his skin.

In their statement, the victim said: “Since this incident, I have not been able to sleep because I often see the defendant in my dreams trying to finish me off. I am constantly watching over my shoulder and if I see someone that looks similar to Mr Johal, I panic and am extremely frightened despite the fact I know he is in custody.

“I will be scarred for life. My body does not feel like my body anymore. Even in hot weather, I am having to dress in long sleeves and jackets just to cover my injuries.

“Because of this incident, I rarely leave my house these days. I do not want to face the public. I do not want people looking at me and making me feel paranoid.

“This crime has changed my life forever in such a negative way. I am constantly feeling anxious and this has taken me away from having a normal quality of life.

“When this attack took place, I went and stayed with my brother for around three weeks.

“This was difficult for me as I felt like a burden on someone else as he had to assist me with everyday activities such as getting dressed, washing and eating. I could not do the things I used to do.

“As far as I am concerned, Mr Johal has got what he wanted and he has ruined me for life. I have tried to come to terms with everything over the last eight months but still, I am haunted by the defendant and have had to accept that he has shown no remorse for invading my life and my existence.”

Johal was sentenced on Tuesday to 20 years’ imprisonment, to serve a minimum of 15 years with the remainder on licence.

The investigating officer Detective Constable Jamie Howden, from the North East Area’s CID, said: “This attack was horrific and left the victim with substantial injuries which will serve as a constant reminder for the rest of his life.

“Although nothing will heal those scars, the victim can take comfort from knowing that justice has been served.”