Jealous friend found guilty of acid attack

Naomi Oni left disfigured by friend envious of her good looks

A woman who threw sulphuric acid over another woman as she got off a bus in East London because she was jealous of her victim’s good looks has been convicted.

Mary Konye, aged 21, was convicted on Thursday of disfiguring her one-time friend, Naomi Oni in December 2012, which has seen the latter require numerous skin-grafts since.

Disguised in a niqab, the Muslim veil that covers women, Konye followed Oni from her job in a Victoria’s Secret lingerie store in Stratford to her home in Dagenham. There, she threw the sulphuric acid and fled, leaving Oni with “shocking injuries, including deep chemical burns to her face, neck, forearm and thigh,” said prosecutor, Baljit Ubhey.

The attack was particularly cruel because the two young women had four years earlier spoken about the acid attack on TV presenter Katie Piper.


“Naomi had been particularly moved and upset by her story. Konye exploited this fear to cause maximum harm,” said Ubhey, who said Konye’s claims that Oni had injured herself were “contemptible”.

Following the attack, Konye pretended to be shocked and upset by the attack upon Oni, texting her in hospital a day later, declaring: “OMG, I can’t believe it.”

However, before it, Konye had posted a photography of the disfigured lead character in “Nightmare on Elm Street”, Freddy Krueger on Blackberry Messenger.

In an accompanying message, the 21-year-old declared to friends, the Snaresbrook Court was told: “She better not mess with me or I will make her face look like this.”

Following the attack, referring to the disfigured cannibals in the horror film, she posted another photograph of Krueger, saying: “Who looks like ‘Wrong Turn’ now?”

The pair had been friends during their years in secondary school, but fell out 18 months before the attack when Oni accused Konye of calling her “an ugly monster” in a text to Oni’s boyfriend.

Detective Chief Inspector David Whellams said: “Konye was almost obsessively jealous of the victim’s good looks and, after a previous argument between them, hatched an almost unbelievable plan.”

Insecure about her own looks, she focused on Oni “almost to the point of obsession” obsessively, telling a friend: ‘What if I bought acid and threw it in her face, so she would know how she makes me feel?’”

Following the jury’s verdict, Judge David Radford warned Konye, who remained calm as it was read out, that she will face a “substantial” jail sentence.

Mark Hennessy

Mark Hennessy

Mark Hennessy is a Project Editor with The Irish Times.