Stefan Sylvestere, the man who threw acid in the face of Katie Piper, scarring her for life, could be released from prison next month.
In 2009, he was sent to prison with an indefinite sentence for tossing sulfuric acid at Katie’s face, after being paid to do so by her ex boyfriend who was enraged over her breaking up with him.
Katie’s attack was caught on closed circuit television. She was left blind in one of her eyes and she has had to undergo over 40 surgeries as a result of her injuries.
The legal team representing the attacker, Sylvestre, have requested a parole hearing and they want to convince the board that he’s not a danger.
A member of the parole board has confirmed that this is true and the hearing is to take place in April.
In 2015, he also applied for parole and it was denied. He’s been in prison for this crime since he was 20 years old.
The ex boyfriend, Daniel Lynch, who hired Sylvestere, was handed a life sentence for his orchestration of the attack.
Katie Piper is now 33 years of age, and has written her autobiography. She wrote of hearing that he was up for parole the first time.
She talked about how the two men had taken everything from her, and now one of them might be able to walk free. She said she was the one serving a life sentence, not him.
He could get out, change his identity, move on with his life, but she can’t. She can never act as if it didn’t happen, because the evidence is permanently on her face.
She also wrote about her fear that Sylvestere would come after her if he ever was to get out.
Her book, titled “Beautiful Ever After” contained her recollection of a conversation she shared with her father, that she wished her burns were from an automobile crash or a house fire.
She continued that her reason for feeling this way is because a car accident or fire couldn’t get her again. They wouldn’t want to settle a score like her attacker.
She suffered this horrendous acid attack at just 24 years old. It’s inconceivable to most people to imagine her former boyfriend, Daniel Lynch, being so enraged that he would plan this attack on someone he claimed to love.
Daniel Lynch was sentenced to life and the minimum he would have to serve is 16 years.
Katie married her husband, Richard James Sutton, and they have one daughter, born in March of 2014. She is expecting another daughter sometime this year.
Katie, a former beauty queen, regularly makes appearances on television shows such as This Morning and Loose Women, and has presented on shows Bodyshockers and Never Seen a Doctor on Channel 4.
Recently, stricter sentencing guidelines have been put in place for anyone attempting life changing attacks, using acid or not, even if the plan fails. Life sentencing is the new norm.
The new guidelines might have prevented Sylvestere from being able to petition for parole.
Arthur Collins, ex boyfriend of Ferne McCann, got 20 years when he threw acid across the room at a nightclub. He was in the middle of gang activity when he carried out his attack in a club in East London.
He referred to it as a little mistake.
The government defines acid as a highly dangerous weapon now so judges will be able to give harsher sentences when attack like this occur.
People found with acid in public will receive a minimum of six months on the second offense, while those under 18 will do four months in juvenile detention.
Knives and other weapons with blades, such as machetes, are also included in the new rules.
These new guidelines will begin being enforced in June of this year.
Along with the new sentencing guidelines, retail stores have agreed that they won’t sell acid to anyone under 18.
The amount of assaults involving acid have risen steadily, more than double the amount, since 2012. The numbers went from 183 to 504 per year. Most of them have happened in East London.
Acid has been reportedly used in nearly 2,000 robberies, murders and sexual assaults since 2010. In 2017 the numbers went up from the last year, 261 to 454. A third of them were in Newham, East London.
Until now, police have had little power in the cases involving acid. Attackers can be hard to detect as they conceal the acid, or carry it in soda bottles. They attempted litmus testing at one point, but it didn’t really help diminish the problem.
Lawmakers are hopeful that the new guidelines will help to deter at least some of the potential attackers.