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harrowing Man 'dressed in fat suit' before acid attack on ex-girlfriend that left her permanently disfigured

The jilted medical student had dressed in a fat suit and black face before throwing sulphuric acid over his former colleague and girlfriend

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Acid attacker Milad Rouf

Acid attacker Milad Rouf

Acid attacker Milad Rouf

A man has been sentenced to 15 years in jail after he was caught on video preparing an acid attack on his ex-girlfriend that left her permanently disfigured.

Dr Rym Alaoui suffered life changing injuries when her ex-boyfriend Milad Rouf (25) who had disguised himself as a large, black woman, carried out the attack in Brighton last May.

The jilted medical student had dressed in a fat suit and black face before throwing sulphuric acid over his former colleague and girlfriend on her doorstep

Rouf, from Cardiff, armed himself with an acid attack kit before travelling to his family in Eltham in South East London and on to Brighton where he lay in wait for his victim.

When she answered her door in Steine Gardens, Rouf threw sulphuric acid in Dr Alaoui’s face. The acid was so concentrated it scorched the paintwork off her front door, a court heard.

They both studied medicine together at Cardiff University and Rouf planned his attack after Dr Alaoui ended their short relationship and moved to Brighton in April.

Following the attack on May 20 this year, police began conducting house-to-house enquiries and identified a nearby property with doorbell footage.

This showed Rouf wearing a black jacket, white trainers, blue jeans and carrying a blue backpack – first walking past before the attack, and then fleeing the scene after

From there, officers carried out a trawl of the city's CCTV cameras to trace the suspect's movements.

This involved contacting dozens of businesses to access their footage and watching hundreds of hours of CCTV to identify where and when Rouf went.

They were able to see Rouf ran from Steine Gardens onto Edward Street and then Princes Street. Rouf was next seen in Old Steine but wearing different shoes.

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Rouf was seen again heading down the steps to the east of Brighton Pier. He was seen changing for around five minutes before re-emerging looking of smaller build, carrying a large white bag and wearing a beanie hat and glasses.

Rouf then disposed of the white bag in a bin on the seafront. He then walked around the city, stopping at various bins along the way, before heading to the Primark store to buy a sweatshirt, blue jacket with white detail and a cream backpack. He put the clothes on in the store and then left, returning twice more to buy sunglasses and an 'LA' baseball cap.

From there, the suspect returned to the seafront and asked a security guard what time the bins are emptied, because he believed he had accidentally thrown away a phone. He retrieved a mobile phone from a pair of jeans in a bin, before leaving the area and heading towards Brighton train station where he boarded a train for London Victoria.

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Milad Rouf in disguise

Milad Rouf in disguise

Milad Rouf in disguise

Rouf was identified from CCTV images after disposing of his disguise, and from descriptions provided by witnesses. He was arrested at his home in Cardiff, where a blue jacket matching the one purchased by the suspect in Primark was found. Further enquiries in Cardiff uncovered the LA baseball cap and the cream backpack.

Officers searching his address also found a hand-written list in his bedside drawer titled 'costume 1' and listing several items – the majority of which matched equipment and clothing worn by the suspect at the time of the attack.

Police also worked to establish Rouf's movements before the attack. They found he arrived in the city by train that morning and was seen on CCTV wearing an orange hooded jumper, blue jeans, white trainers and black facemask. He was also carrying a blue backpack.

He was seen lingering around Edward Street for much of the morning, sometimes drawing on a notepad. He was also seen entering the Sainsbury's store in Old Steine where he bought a fruit salad – this was later found at the scene of the attack in Steine Gardens.

A spokesman for Sussex Police said: “When the victim opened the door, he threw a corrosive substance over her before fleeing the scene.

“The victim, who was known to Rouf through their studies, suffered life-changing injuries as a result of the attack. Officers found he had disguised himself as a woman to carry out the attack.

“As he fled the scene, he discarded items of his costume in bins across the city, before buying new clothing from Primark.

“After his arrest, a search of his home address in Cardiff found items matching the clothing he bought in Brighton, as well as a hand-written list of the items he included in his disguise.”

Investigating officer Rose Horan said: “This was a premeditated, malicious and harrowing incident, and I'd like to thank the victim for showing such incredible bravery and dignity throughout. She has been inspirational.

“I would also like to thank the many officers who responded to the incident and the wider community for their huge support in our investigation. We approached and engaged with a wide range of businesses in the city centre and they provided us with hundreds of hours of CCTV.

“In the end, it was this footage that enabled us to trace Rouf's movements through the city and build a strong case against him, which has resulted in a guilty plea at court.”

The victim said that since the day of the attack, she had been “unable to attend work or live my life. I have been robbed of years of my career and young adult life. The psychological effect had been colossal on me, my family and loved ones.

“I cannot begin to imagine why somebody would commit such a premeditated and horrible attack. I cannot understand what was in his mind,” the doctor wrote.

Rouf was sentenced to 11 years custody with an extended sentence of another four years.

He will serve at least three quarters of the 11 years in custody before being release on licence. He showed no emotion as he was taken down.

Joe Pullen from the Crown Prosecution Service said: “This was a shocking and pre-mediated attack - motivated by jealousy and failure to accept the end of their relationship - which has left a young woman with life-changing injuries.

“My thoughts today are with this brave woman, whose strength and resilience throughout the investigation and prosecution is inspiring. I hope she can find some comfort from today's sentence.

“I additionally wish to thank Sussex Police for their outstanding work in uncovering Rouf's elaborate disguise.

“I am pleased we were able to build a strong and swift case against him, using extensive physical and CCTV evidence, which saw him pleading guilty to the most appropriate charge of applying a corrosive fluid with intent.

“This violence has no place in our society. The CPS is committed to protecting victims from domestic abuse through our close working with the police to build the strongest possible cases and charges appropriate to the crime.”

Her Honour Judge Christine Laing QC told Rouf she had no doubt he was a danger to women before sending him to prison on an extended sentence of 15 years.

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