Leicester woman sentenced to life for acid attack

21/03/2017

A Leicester woman has been convicted of attempted murder and sentenced to life in prison with a minimum for attacking her housemate and partner with sulphuric acid.

Katie Leong carried out the attack on Daniel Rotariu in the early hours of 27 July while he was in bed. The CPS’ case was that she had been fascinated with the idea of killing someone using acid. The attack caused life changing injuries to Mr Rotariu, leaving him blind and disfigured. He was in a coma for six weeks after the attack. Katie Leong was jointly prosecuted with her former boyfriend, Mark Cummings, who was found not guilty of attempted murder by the jury.

Angela Clark from the CPS said: “In prosecuting this case, the CPS had to prove to a jury that Katie Leong had intended not just to disfigure, but to kill. The evidence revealed a picture of her fascination with attacking someone using acid, including her possession of a book written by an acid attack survivor. We had scientific evidence that she was present when the acid was used, including traces of the acid on her clothing. The evidence of forensic medical experts confirmed that the acid was poured for about six seconds, and that a smaller dose of acid could have been fatal.

"All this evidence clearly showed that she had planned and implemented the attack fully intending to kill, so she was prosecuted for attempted murder.

"In order to avoid being blamed for the attack, Leong attempted to incriminate Mark Cummings, who wanted more than anything to resume their relationship.  However, our case was that she was the driving force behind the attack and the jury decided that Mark Cummings was acting under her controlling influence, so was not guilty of attempted murder.

"The attack had a devastating effect on the victim. He lost his sight, suffers constant pain and is still undergoing treatment for his injuries. Despite this he supported the prosecution and his evidence helped the jury understand what happened that night last July. I would like to thank him for his courage and dignity throughout this case."

Background
The attack on Daniel Rotariu took place in the house he shared with Katie Leong and one other in Leicester. He was in a relationship with Leong at the time of the attack. Leong had been in a previous relationship with Mark Cummings. The relationship ad ended, but Mark Cummings wanted it to continue.

The acid, sulphuric acid at 96% concentration, was ordered online by Mark Cummings, and he brought it to the house. However, the attack was driven and orchestrated by Katie Leong.

Katie Leong was convicted following trial at Leicester Crown Court that lasted two and a half weeks.

Angela Clark is a District Crown Prosecutor at CPS East Midlands.