Everyday thousands of children are being sexually abused. You can stop the abuse of at least one child by simply praying. You can possibly stop the abuse of thousands of children by forwarding the link in First Time Visitor? by email, Twitter or Facebook to every Christian you know. Save a child or lots of children!!!! Do Something, please!

3:15 PM prayer in brief:
Pray for God to stop 1 child from being molested today.
Pray for God to stop 1 child molestation happening now.
Pray for God to rescue 1 child from sexual slavery.
Pray for God to save 1 girl from genital circumcision.
Pray for God to stop 1 girl from becoming a child-bride.
If you have the faith pray for 100 children rather than one.
Give Thanks. There is more to this prayer here

Please note: All my writings and comments appear in bold italics in this colour

Friday, 19 December 2014

Acid Attacks in Britain and Canada, Why, and Why the Huge Contrast in Sentencing?

In Britain

Vikki Horsman said no matter how long the trio are sentenced to,
they have scarred her for life
A young woman who had acid thrown in her face for splitting up from her 80-year-old boyfriend says her life has been destroyed.

Mohammed Rafiq, from Smethwick in the West Midlands, paid £50 for two men to throw sulphuric acid over Vikki Horsman, causing 8% burns.

He has been jailed for 18 years for inflicting grievous bodily harm with intent in April.

Ms Horsman, now 20, said Rafiq had become "controlling and paranoid".

Mohammed Rafiq, Steven Holmes and Shannon Heaps
had denied plotting to harm Ms Horsman
Shannon Heaps, 23, and Steven Holmes, 25, were jailed for 12 years and 18 years respectively at Wolverhampton Crown Court for causing grievous bodily harm with intent.

Skin 'lifted'

Rafiq had denied masterminding the attack on Ms Horsman at her friend's house in Tividale, West Midlands, in retaliation for her ending the pair's relationship.

Recalling the attack, Ms Horsman told BBC News she was with Rafiq when someone knocked at the front door.

Rafiq told her it was a man to see her and, after she opened the door, a man in a hooded top and bandana handed her a parcel before throwing the corrosive liquid over her.

She suffered burns to her neck, face, left arm, right shoulder, an ear and splashes on her legs.

Vikki Horsman suffered burns to several areas of her body
Ms Horsman said she thought "it was the end" and could feel her skin lifting "layer by layer".

"Straight away, it was a piercing, burning sensation," she said.

"I could just feel my airways going tight, my lips blistering and just swelling... agonising pain. I had no idea what was happening."

She said she ran to look in a mirror then into the kitchen to splash water on her face.

She spent two weeks in hospital before Rafiq, who suffered burns to his legs, came to visit her. His late visit, along with her friend telling her about his strange behaviour, made her suspicious he was involved.

"He just didn't seem himself and from who they arrested previously, I didn't believe it was them," she said.

Why does a beautiful 18 year old girl have an affair with an ugly 80 year old man?

Ms Horsman said she was 18 when she first met Rafiq. He was, she added, "really supportive" towards her after she lost her parents and a third relative to illness in quick succession.

But the good Samaritan in him changed and he became more controlling once she passed her driving test and he bought her a car, she said.

"At times it [our relationship] did get to me but then after losing three of the closest people to me, I didn't have nobody so [it was] more of a case of I needed somebody, not wanted somebody," she said.

Good Samaritan? If you believe that, I have some extremely valuable stock in a gold mine in Bolivia I can sell you really cheap. He was no good Samaritan; good Samaritans expect nothing in return for their generosity. Rafiq, that lecherous, old man, was grooming her right from the start. He took advantage of an emotionally fragile girl to fulfill his own filthy desires.

Ms Horsman said she was not coerced or groomed by Rafiq and although she converted to Islam she has since reverted to her previous beliefs.

Eight months on from the attack, she said she cannot bear to look at her scars and still suffers flashbacks.

'All for pennies'

Doctors have told her she faces years of reconstructive surgery and Ms Horsman is still struggling to come to terms with the attack.

"Just for the sake of £50," she said.

"They can hurl that sort of stuff at somebody and just destroy someone's life in a matter of seconds... all for pennies?"

"No matter how long they get inside, they have scarred me for life.

"I'm the one doing the life sentence, not them."


Meanwhile, in Quebec, Canada

The Quebec man convicted of splashing a corrosive substance on his now ex-girlfriend has been sentenced to 57 months in prison minus time served.

Nikolas Stefanatos, 27, has been
sentenced to 57 months in prison
Nikolas Stefanatos, of Brossard, Quebec, has already served 41 months because time served before sentencing is equivalent to time and a half, meaning he will spend another 16 months in prison, for the 2012 attack on Tanya St-Arnauld.

Stefanatos pleaded guilty to aggravated assault in November after he sprayed the acid on 29-year-old  St-Arnauld during an argument.

She suffered burns to a fifth of her body and spent several days in an induced coma. After she was revived, she had the mobility "of an infant."

St Arnaud in coma
The paint on the apartment wall near the scene of the fight bubbled and peeled off from being sprayed with the product that Stefanatos sprayed on St-Arnauld.

St-Arnauld was in the courtroom and later told reporters she was not surprised by the sentence.

She said 16 months is not a lot of time, but she accepts the decision.

St Arnaud in laser treatments in Miami
It was the same sentence the Crown and defence had suggested to the judge on Dec. 3.

St-Arnauld has given birth to a boy since the attack, and said that one day, she'll have to explain why her skin is disfigured.

However, she said she's happy this part of the process is over, and looks forward to getting on with the rest of her life.

We pray Tanya and Vicki Horsman will have great success in the healing of their scars and in putting these traumas behind them so that they may have a good and happy life.

Tanya St Arnaud speaking to press. Her scars are not visible in this screen-grab
but one-fifth of her body was scarred so there is much we don't see.
She speaks eloquently and kindly and appears to be recovering emotionally
quite well.
Huge difference in sentencing

The similarities of the burns to the bodies of both these women are quite remarkable. However, the differences in the sentences handed down to the attackers is just as remarkable. In Britain,  Vicki's 3 attackers were sentenced to a total of 48 years in prison. In Canada, Tanya's attacker was sentenced to 59 months - one month short of 5 years. Why the difference?

In 2016, if not sooner, Tanya's attacker will be back on the streets. What kind of anxiety will she suffer from then? If Stefanatos is stupid enough to throw acid on her once, he is probably quite capable of doing it again or something worse. If he does, the judge who slapped his wrists will have her blood on his hands.

It is likely to be close to a decade before the first attacker in Vicki's case is back on the streets, and closer to 15 years before the other two are. It is very unlikely that Rafiq will live long enough to finish his sentence. Vicki can rest confidently in the knowledge that she is in very little or no danger from here on. Tanya won't have that luxury, though it shouldn't be luxury, it should be a right.

The British judge nailed the motivation for the attack right on the head: He said Ms Horsman was pleased with the sentences which reflected the "cold and callous" way the attack was planned by Rafiq and "his cronies".

Judge Nicholas Webb described the premeditated attack as "wicked" and Rafiq as "cruel as (and?) vengeful". He said the nature of the attack was designed to degrade Ms Horsman.

Passing sentence, the judge told Rafiq, Heaps and Holmes: "Acid attacks are not uncommon in certain parts of the world."

"Thankfully, they are rare in England. Quite often they are to punish a woman who has refused to bow to the demands of a spouse."

"In such cases it is done to leave a permanent reminder of what happens when a woman rejects attempts to control her."

Perhaps Canadian judges don't understand this; or perhaps they don't really care.