By Diane Cooke
TV presenter Katie Piper has revealed she’s struggling to sleep after news her acid attacker could be freed from jail within weeks.
Stefan Sylvestre was jailed indefinitely in 2009 after he threw sulphuric acid at the TV presenter, in an attack which left her blind in one eye aged just 24.
It was revealed that Sylvestre could be freed from jail in a few weeks after he applied for a parole hearing aimed at convincing the board he is no longer a danger.
Just hours after the reports surfaced, Katie, 34, took to Instagram to post a message - which has since been deleted - which hinted at her fears.
Katie underwent 40 operations to treat her burns following the March 2008 attack and at one point was forced to wear a plastic face mask for up to 23 hours a day.
Jealous ex-boyfriend Daniel Lynch, who organised the attack, is serving life in prison.
But TV presenter Katie is not the only acid attack victim who has managed to turn her life around and make a positive contribution to society.
Massoumeh Attaie does not want to be defined only by the evil that drove her father-in-law to blind her with acid. She wants to be known as an artist.
The 35-year-old Iranian never got justice for the brutal attack eight years ago that left her permanently disfigured.
Her father-in-law threw acid in her face because she had sought a divorce, but under Iran’s Islamic law, her two eyes were worth only one of his.
And in the end, the family threatened that the same punishment would befall her son if she pressed charges. “I chose my son over justice,” she said.
Attaie makes pottery, sculpted bowls and statuettes. She now lives in Tehran with her 12-year-old son, having fled her family in Iran’s third city of Isfahan, and gives art classes to other blind people and proudly says she is “totally independent.”
In December last year, Arthur Collins received a 25-year jail sentence
after an acid attack in a London nightclub. Collins, who injured more than 20 people in the Easter Sunday attack, was branded “dangerous” as it emerged he had previously threatened to have an ex’s mum “raped and acid thrown in her face”.
In August last year, home secretary Amber Rudd and Britain’s top cop, Met boss Cressida Dick, vowed to up “vital” police stop and search powers to clamp down on acid attacks and stabbings.
Amber Rudd said her “purpose is simple: to take as many offensive weapons, knives, guns, acid and harmful drugs out of the pockets of criminals as possible.”
This year has seen an alarming rise in the number of acid attacks taking place in the UK - with London seeing particularly severe spike.
London has emerged as a hot spot for acid attacks in recent years, with more than half of incidents taking place in the capital.
The number of cases more than doubled from less than 200 in 2014 to 431 in 2016, with Scotland Yard focusing on specific parts of the city.