Mary Konye, the 21 year old jealous friend being accused of attacking Naomi Oni with acid in Dec. 2012 made some shocking allegations of her own in court today. She told the courts through her lawyers that Naomi set up the attack and asked her (Mary Konye) to ‘play the stalker’ and throw the acid on her face, which was all part of an elaborate plan to be rich and famous.
Today Miss Oni insisted she was not ‘obsessed’ with plastic surgery or the story of fellow acid attack victim Katy Piper, despite an internet search history on her laptop suggesting otherwise.
In cross examination Sally O’Neill asked her to explain to jurors the story of Ms Piper before asking whether she had become obsessed by the disfigured model.
Miss Oni said: ‘I wouldn’t say obsessed but it deeply moved me. I read about other attacks but it was not an obsession.’
Ms O’Neill said it was the defence case that she hatched a plan with Konye to pour acid over herself to improve her future prospects.
She said: ‘You said if something similar to that of Katy Piper happened to you then that wouldn’t be the end of the world because Katy Piper probably had a career boost.’
Miss Oni simply replied: ‘No.’
The defence barrister asked her why she had visited a series of plastic surgery websites.
Miss Oni answered: ‘I do not think I was very pretty at all.
‘I went on the sites for no reason in particular – I had body issues and I was interested in plastic surgery for my body but there was no particular reason.
‘I remember searching for my eyelids because I had double eyelids which I didn’t like so I planned one day to see if I could do something about it.’
But Ms O’Neill said: ‘You formalised a plan in which you would become the victim of a random acid attack in the hope that you would receive the same type of fame and fortune as Katy Piper had.’You were of the view that Katy Piper still looked lovely after the attack but that you would need something else to support the attack because the police wouldn’t believe you and that was where you brought Mary Konye into it.
‘Your play was, I suggest, that you would make an allegation that you had been followed and attacked and you wanted Mary Konye to be part of that – you wanted her to follow you and also, initially, wanted her to throw the acid.
‘She absolutely refused to do that and you said that you were actually going to throw the acid yourself towards your neck area.’
Miss Oni replied: ‘That is very untrue.’
Mary Konye, 21, admits disguising herself in a niqab and stalking Naomi Oni, also 21, on her way home from work, but denies she doused her in sulphuric acid. Miss Oni yesterday described the moment she was attacked and told Snaresbrook Crown Court after she saw the damage done she thought: ‘I’m ugly, no one’s going to marry me now.’
Jurors were also shown CCTV of student Konye disguised in a Muslim veil as she followed her friend on the Tube, before she was attacked late at night on an east London street.
Yesterday, she described how, on her way home from work at a Victoria’s Secret lingerie store, she got off at her bus stop in Dagenham, East London, and felt a ‘presence’ before turning to see someone in a niqab.
She then felt a ‘massive splash’ as the acid was thrown at her, scarring her for life and disfiguring her face, dissolving her hair and eyelashes and burning her tongue as she screamed.
Describing how she felt after the attack, she said: ‘Am I a bad person? Why has this happened to me? I work hard … No one’s going to marry me now.’
Miss Oni also revealed that when she told her alleged attacker what had happened, her friend texted back: ‘OMG. Can’t believe it.’
She also cried down the phone to Konye, who offered her support, Snaresbrook Crown Court heard.
She said: ‘I just had my bandages removed and it was the first time I saw my face after surgery and I broke down and I had spoken to Mary that night and I was crying on the phone to her and she was on the phone to me telling me, “don’t worry, you’ll be OK”.’
Giving evidence yesterday, Miss Oni described how she felt a ‘presence’ behind her as she walked home.
She said: ‘I was still on the phone to my boyfriend and I felt a presence. I turned to my left and I saw someone and a black abaya [cloak] or a black niqab.
‘I remember it facing me, staring. A presence directly looking at me. All I could see was eyes.’
She then said she felt the splash as the acid was thrown in her face and ran home shouting ‘acid, acid’.
The court heard that the pair had a ‘rocky relationship’ and had stopped speaking from April to September 2011 after a row over Konye sending text messages to Miss Oni’s boyfriend.
Miss Oni said: ‘I remember asking her why she wanted to do that and I said she’s a monster or something like that.
‘I said you are a monster, you are an ugly monster. I remember us insulting each other’s looks.
‘She also told me she was so angry she wanted to throw acid at me, but she was advised not to by her friend.
‘Her friend said, “That’s stupid, you could go to jail for that”.’
Asked what she thought at the time about the threat, Miss Oni said: ‘I thought it was quite bizarre, I felt insulted again. But she seemed like she wasn’t serious. I thought she was trying to frighten me a little bit.’