UPDATED: Acid attacker Sau Lin-Hin has been sentenced to 9 years in prison following a horrific attack on a 22-year-old waitress in Sandown back in June of this year.
As previously reported by Island Echo, Ms Lin-Hin, 48 of Mulberry Way in Ryde, was accused of causing life-changing burns to the face and upper body of 22-year-old Zhi-Jian Zhang on 4th June after she threw Sodium Hydroxide over the victim. Lin-Hin admitted her guilt on 28th August and was today (Wednesday) sentenced at Portsmouth Crown Court.
The Royal China restaurant owner was arrested on suspicion of causing grievous bodily harm with intent and has remained in custody on remand until her sentencing today. At the time of the attack a 24-year-old female was also arrested on suspicion of assisting an offender and was bailed pending further inquiries.
The young victim, who is understood to have worked for Ms Lin-Hin, was transferred to a specialist burns unit in Salisbury. She has since been released having suffered extensive injuries to her arm, shoulder, the right side of her face and chest, but thankfully did not lose her sight.
Sadly though, Zhi-Jian cannot be exposed to the sunshine without excessive amounts of sunscreen and has to wear a variety of bandages. She also cannot have a wash without assistance.
The court heard today how Sau Lin-Hin was arrested at East Cowes’ Red Funnel ferry terminal carrying £1,800 in cash and her passport following the attack, which was carried out because she believed her husband was having an affair with waitress Zhi-Jian.
Witnesses in nearby hotels described hearing screams of agony during the shocking attack in an alleyway as the corrosive liquid made contact with Ms Zhang’s skin. The local community entered a state of shock with many saying they would boycott Sandown’s Royal China restaurant and takeaway following the tear-jerking revelation of details surrounding the incident. Royal China reopened just two days after the attack.
Scenes of crime officers from the mainland arrived at Royal China at 16 High Street late on the Wednesday afternoon to gather evidence. Police remained on guard outside the property into Thursday.
Dale Sheehan, Senior Crown Prosecutor for the CPS has said:
“Sau Lin-Hin deliberately took some caustic soda and threw it on the face of Zhijian Zhang.
“The court heard how Sau Lin-Hin had mixed the caustic soda with water and how she had clearly intended to throw it on the young woman’s face as she was jealous of her and wanted to make her less attractive.
“A five per cent concentration of caustic soda causes serious injuries, the concentration that Sau Lin-Hin used was one of 33 per cent. This means that the level of concentration was viscous, sticking to the skin or any surface in which it came into contact. It was extremely corrosive.
“It was clear that she had intended as she had prepared the mixture, which was highly concentrated causing immediate injuries to Zhijian Zhang.
“Not only Zhijian Zhang is left with the trauma of the attack, but Sau Lin-Hin had scarred her for life. Zhijian Zhang in her victim personal statement described the devastating effects on her life and her future. She said that she had been disfigured even on parts of her body not directly affected by burns because surgeons used other parts of her body for skin grafts.
“She is devastated as she cannot be exposed to sunshine without wearing lots of sunscreen, has to wear lots of bandages and cannot have a wash without the help of her sister. She has lost her job, is currently dependant of her family and is very worried that she might not be able to work again or find love because of her scars.
“By pleading guilty, Sau Lin-Hin has spared Zhijian Zhang to relive the terrible moments of the attacks at a trial.
“We hope that with this sentence Zhijian Zhang, will be able to move on with her life, our thoughts at this instant are with her.”
Photograph of Lin-Hin – Hampshire Police