A jealous ex-boyfriend who left a junior doctor with devastating injuries after hurling sulphuric acid in her face has had his jail sentence increased.
Rym Alaoui was subjected to the horrific attack in Brighton earlier this year when she was tricked by Milad Rouf on her doorstep.
Rouf, a medical student, now 26, travelled to the town and disguised himself in a fat suit to fool his former partner and carry out the assault.
He was handed an extended jail sentence of 11 years in prison and four years on licence by a judge at Lewes Crown Court in October.
But Solicitor-General Alex Chalk challenged the sentence as being unduly lenient, referring it to the Court of Appeal.
After a hearing at the Royal Courts of Justice today (Wednesday 15 December), judges increased Rouf’s sentence to 15 years in prison and four years on extended licence.
Lord Justice Fulford, sitting with Mr Justice Goss and Sir Andrew Nicol, ruled that the original sentence had been “unduly lenient”, noting the domestic context of the case.
“This offence was a form of domestic abuse,” he said, adding that the extent of Rouf’s planning of the attack was “striking”.
He said that acid or other corrosive substances have a “destructive quality” which when used in an attack can deny a victim a chance of more than a partial recovery “because of the limitations of plastic surgery”.
The judge noted the impact of the “devastating” injuries suffered by Rouf’s victim and how she did not know whether she would be able return to her previous role in the medical profession.
Speaking after the hearing, Mr Chalk said: “Rouf’s crime was shocking and has severely impacted the future of a young doctor – who lives to heal others – by robbing her of her sight in one eye.
“I hope the court’s decision to increase his sentence acts as a warning to those who think of acting in such a cruel and barbaric way.”
Sentencing Rouf in October, Judge Christine Laing, the honorary recorder of Brighton and Hove, said that the trauma suffered by Dr Alaoui was “unimaginable”.
She added: “You bought sulphuric acid. As a trainee doctor you would know far better than most people the devastating consequences that has when applied to the human body.”
Judge Laing said that Rouf acted out of “simple jealousy and anger at being rejected”.
Lewes Crown Court previously heard that Rouf, from Cardiff, wore make up and sunglasses as he walked up to his victim’s home, knocked on the door and then threw the corrosive liquid into her face.
Prosecutor Flora Page told the court that Rouf and Dr Alaoui had dated briefly while studying together in Cardiff but she had ended the relationship and moved to Brighton where she was working as a junior doctor.
Instead of moving on, Rouf spent weeks planning his attack before travelling to Brighton on Thursday 20 May.
His disguise prevented Dr Alaoui from recognising him as she opened the door.
Rouf showed her a threatening note written on a pad – taking care not to speak and give himself away – before throwing 60 per cent concentrate sulphuric acid in her face.
Despite her quick-thinking in going straight to the shower to wash it off, and the actions of medical staff, she has been left with devastating injuries.
In a statement read out on her behalf in court, Dr Alaoui said that the attack had left her living in “constant physical and psychological pain” and that she feared for her “future wellbeing and socioeconomic hardship”.
“I have been robbed of years of my career and young adult life,” she said. “I cannot begin to imagine how or why someone could commit such a horrible, premeditated attack.”
Defence barrister Harry Macdonald previously cited Rouf’s guilty plea and history of good character, including his work on a website to help the NHS.
Lewes Crown Court also heard evidence that Rouf had been suffering from depression after the death of his mother.