Katie Piper 'trying to deal with' acid attacker release


Katie PiperImage copyright
Getty Images

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The 2008 attack left Piper with permanent scars

Model and campaigner Katie Piper has said she is “trying to come to terms with the decision” to release her acid attacker after nine years in jail.

“This is a really difficult time for me,” she told fans, saying it was “something I need to deal with”.

Stefan Sylvestre received a life sentence in 2009 after throwing sulphuric acid at Piper’s face on the orders of her former partner.

Piper is currently rehearsing for this year’s series of Strictly Come Dancing.

Writing on Twitter, the 34-year-old said she felt it was “important” to send a message to her “friends, supporters and followers”.

Participating in Strictly, she went on, had given her “a welcome and positive distraction” from her past.

“Whilst there is never a good time to hear this news, I am glad I have this new journey to concentrate on,” she wrote.

Sylvestre, now 30, was told in 2009 he would have to serve a minimum of six years before he would be eligible for parole.

His attack on Piper in March 2008, carried out at the behest of her obsessive ex-boyfriend Daniel Lynch, left her with horrific injuries and permanent scarring.

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PA

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Stefan Sylvestre was 19 when he carried out the attack

The Parole Board’s decision summary said Sylvestre’s case was considered at an oral hearing and that Piper had read statements in person to the panel.

“The panel took full account of the content of these statements and the supporting documentation,” its summary said.

It said that Sylvestre, who was 19 at the time of the attack, had “displayed empathy for the victim and expressed remorse and shame for his actions”.

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

A spokesman for the Ministry of Justice offered its “heartfelt sympathies” to Piper but said Sylvestre’s release was a matter for the Parole Board.

Sylvestre became eligible to be considered for release in April 2014 and had a previous review by the Parole Board in 2015.

Lynch was jailed for life in 2009 with a minimum of 16 years for sexually assaulting Piper and telling Sylvestre to throw acid over her.

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