August 24, 2018
Stefan Sylvestre was jailed for life for attacking TV presenter on instruction of her ex-boyfriend
Katie Pipers acid attacker to be released from prison
The television presenter Katie Piper has spoken of her anxiety following the announcement that the man who threw acid over her will be released from prison after serving nine years of a life sentence.
Stefan Sylvestre, now 30, from Shepherd’s Bush, west London, was sentenced in 2009 for the attack and told he must serve a minimum of six years before becoming eligible for parole.
Piper, who will appear in the next series of the BBC’s Strictly Come Dancing, was left permanently scarred by the attack.
Reacting to the news, she tweeted: “I felt it was important to put a message out to my friends, supporters and followers. This is a really difficult time for me. I am trying to come to terms with the decision and this is something I need to deal with.
Katie Pipers acid attacker to be released from prison
“Over the past two weeks Strictly has already given me such a welcome and positive distraction from my past. Whilst there is never a good time to hear this news, I am glad I have this new journey to concentrate on. Thank you for your continued support.”
The 34-year-old’s obsessive ex-boyfriend Daniel Lynch arranged for Sylvestre to throw the corrosive liquid at her in March 2008. She has since gone on to campaign and raise awareness about acid attacks, sharing her story in the documentary Katie: My Beautiful Face.
Lynch was jailed for life with a minimum of 16 years for sexually assaulting Piper and telling Sylvestre to throw acid over her. The pair had dated briefly before Lynch, a martial arts fan who had a previous conviction for pouring boiling water over a man, became obsessively jealous.
The Parole Board confirmed Sylvestre was being released after an oral hearing, adding that Piper read statements in person to the panel. “Decisions are solely focused on whether a prisoner would represent a significant risk to the public after release,” a spokesperson said. “The panel will have carefully looked at a whole range of evidence, including details of the original evidence and any evidence of behaviour change.”
The panel considered there were a number of factors that reduced Sylvestre’s risk of causing serious harm in the future, including the fact he was now 11 years older than when he committed the offence. He had been drawn into a criminal lifestyle in his teens and was involved with drugs.
A Ministry of Justice spokesman said: “Public protection is our priority and while we understand public concern, it is vital that we respect the independence of the Parole Board.”
The board summary said Sylvestre became eligible to be considered for release on 8 April 2014, and had had a previous review in 2015.
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