Police appeal for information after man who threw acid over Katie Piper leaves UK | UK news

Police are searching for a man, jailed for an acid attack on the model and campaigner Katie Piper, who is believed to have left the country.

The Metropolitan police said their inquiries indicated that Stefan Sylvestre left the UK on 2 August. The force said it was notified last month that the 34-year-old had been recalled to prison after breaching his licence conditions. His last known address was in north London.

Sylvestre was 19 when he threw sulphuric acid at Piper in Golders Green, north London, in 2008, on the orders of her obsessive former boyfriend, Daniel Lynch.

In 2009, Sylvestre was sentenced to life with a minimum of six years. He was released on licence in 2018 but has been recalled to prison. The Probation Service said it was working with police to find him.

Lynch was jailed for life in 2009 with a minimum of 16 years for sexually assaulting Piper and telling Sylvestre, from Shepherd’s Bush, west London, to throw the corrosive liquid over her.

The Met said: “Officers from the Met’s specialist crime command continue to work with partner agencies to locate and arrest him. Sylvestre should not be approached.

“Anyone with information on his whereabouts is asked to call police on 999 quoting CAD6239/23Sep. To give information anonymously, contact the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.”

The attack left Piper with serious injuries and permanent scarring and she has had hundreds of operations to repair the damage to her face and eyesight.

The 38-year-old has since gone on to campaign and raise awareness about acid attacks. In her victim impact statement, Piper said: “When the acid was thrown at me, it felt like I was burning in hell.

“It was an indescribable, unique, torturous pain. I have lost my future, my career, my spirit, my body, my looks, my dignity … the list goes on. All I am left with is an empty shell. A part of me has died that will never come back. This is worse than death.”

When Sylvestre was released from prison in 2018, the Parole Board’s decision summary said he had “displayed empathy for the victim and expressed remorse and shame for his actions”.

It said he had avoided antisocial behaviour while imprisoned, had “repaired his relationship” with his family, and “completed relevant offence-focused work to challenge and change his attitude and thinking”.

In an interview with the Observer in 2011, Piper was asked what it was like the first time she looked in the mirror after the attack. She said: “I don’t think it was really one defining moment, because my face was changing all the time and I didn’t risk it for a while.

“I’d catch my reflection by mistake and that’s strange, not to see something that’s always been there and instead there’s something alien in its place. You’d wake up in the morning and be cleaning your teeth and you’d expect to see your face, but it wasn’t there any more.”


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