Vikki Horsman, 20, converted to Islam for Mohammed Rafiq, 80
She wore a headscarf and changed her name to Aleena Rafiq
She ended the relationship when he became ‘too controlling’
Acid was thrown over her when she answered door at house
Rafiq found guilty of arranging for two men to target her
An 80-year-old man hired two thugs to throw acid in the face of his ex-girlfriend when he became convinced that the 20-year-old was seeing another man after their relationship ended.
Vikki Horsman was left horribly burned and disfigured after she was doused with the sulphuric acid as she went to answer the door at her friend’s house in Tividale, West Midlands.
Her ex-lover, Mohammed Rafiq, was today found guilty of arranging the attack in revenge for Miss Horsman, who had converted to Islam during their relationship, breaking up with him.
Pakistan-born Rafiq persuaded Steven Holmes, 25, and Shannon Heaps, 22, to carry out the attack and initially pretended he was also a victim after he too was splashed by the acid.
All three were today found guilty at Wolverhampton Crown Court of inflicting grievous bodily harm with intent. They will be sentenced next Friday.
The court heard that Miss Horsman converted to Islam and even changed her name to Aleena Rafiq after meeting the pensioner, more than six times her senior, when she was just 14 years old.
She had described the breakdown of her relationship with Rafiq, who she had been sleeping with since she was 18.
Rafiq, whom she had known six years, had bought her a car, but became increasingly ‘very controlling’ she told the court.
‘He often accused me of cheating on him,’ she said.
Describing the moment she was attacked, Miss Horsman, who was 19 at the time, said: ‘I went out into the porch and shut the door behind me. I looked outside and that was when I saw the gentleman standing there.
‘He asked if I was Vikki, I said yes and that was when the substance was thrown over me. I felt a burning in my face and lips.
‘I ran to the mirror to see what was happening. Then I ran to the kitchen, and splashed water over my face to try and get rid of it.
‘I tried to call an ambulance but they couldn’t understand what I was saying, I was just screaming.
‘I asked Mohammed to call them and give them the address. I can’t remember him doing anything else.
‘I was splashing water on my face. Mohammed gave me a bottle of water as I could feel it burning inside my mouth.’
She said he had pressured her to become a Muslim in November last year – even though she had not wanted to.
She ended the relationship a month later but Rafiq could not accept the break-up and believed they were still together, the court heard.
She added: ‘He became a lot more controlling. He wanted to know where I was a lot more. He kept checking up on me to make sure I was where I said I was.’
‘He still thought we were in a relationship even thought I told him it was over. He got very angry.
‘One day I came home from shopping and he was there.
‘He told me he had found condom wrappers in my bed side drawer. He showed me pictures he had taken on his phone. He was angry, he accused me of sleeping with somebody else.’
Miss Horsman suffered 8 per cent burns to her body and told the court she was still receiving treatment for her injuries.
Speaking after the case, Detective Constable Jason Moseley, investigating officer for West Midlands Police, said: ‘This was a horrifying and complex case which centred around a controlling relationship.
‘Rafiq’s young ex-partner was seriously injured and left with devastating, lasting scars, which one can only presume was his intent given the nature of the planned attack.
‘He recruited two people to carry out the attack on his behalf and then tried to claim that he was also a victim.
‘His victim now has to rebuild her life and move on from what was ultimately a controlling, abusive relationship that she paid a high price to leave..’
Speaking following the trial, Miss Horsman said: ‘What happened that day changed my life forever.
‘I have had to undergo lots of treatment for the burns and the damage those people caused.
‘I suffered severe scarring to my neck and chest and have recently had to undergo further surgery to help my recovery.
‘But, it is not just what everyone can see that causes me pain.
‘The trauma and distress that Rafiq and his accomplices have put my under have left mental scars that I fear will never go away.
‘I still have sleepless nights and keep leaving my home to stay with friends and relatives as I can’t bear to be on my own.
‘This is what those people have done to me – all because I had the courage to be my own person and escape a controlling man.
‘I know I have to be strong and am pleased that justice has been done but no matter how satisfied I am to see Rafiq and the others go to jail, that won’t turn the clock back and take away the scars they have left me with.’