One night after a date, Piper learned just how terrifying her new boyfriend was. After a frightening incident, Lynch made Katie promise to keep what had happened between them a secret. Scared for her life, she agreed.
Lynch repeatedly contacted her until she finally agreed to go to a local internet cafe to read a message he had posted on her Facebook page.
In the late afternoon of March 31, 2008, Piper headed out to pick up the message. At least three separate security cameras captured what happened next, but Piper remembers the fateful day all too well.
"This guy starts walking towards me, crosses the road, and he's coming right towards me, and his eye contact, he's so focused on my eyes," she said.
Another security camera recorded the man's careful approach to Piper and the moment when her life would be forever changed.
"And he had a coffee cup, and he had it right out here, so I thought, 'Well, this guy really wants me to give him some change' and I took my hands to get money out, and as I did and turned he just threw everything into my face," she said. "At first, I thought he's thrown coffee on me, because, he's in the street with a coffee mug. And then the pain was so bad I thought this guy's thrown a match at me...like visually I thought I must be a big orange fireball because, it's so painful and...so bad."
Piper had been attacked with sulfuric acid by a complete stranger.
"I remember bits of my face were coming off and bits were coming away and, my clothes were all evaporating and I was panicking," she recalled. "I was banging on the windows of the shops and people were scared."
It's been almost two years since then. After the attack, someone called an ambulance and Piper was rushed to the hospital.
Her parents, David and Diane Piper, remember the terrible phone call telling them of the attack.
"They didn't really know too much, but they knew that she was facially injured," David recalled.
Her mother Diane said she was horrified: "I thought, 'Oh my God, no. Not her face.' Her looks were everything to her. It's what she made a living of, by the way she looked."
Her father said when they arrived at the hospital they could not believe what they saw.
"Her eyes were welded together. Her face was swollen like a football. Some of her skin was missing, some of her nose was missing, some of her ear was missing, and she just looked terrible," David said. "She was on a ventilator. She couldn't talk. I remember thinking, 'Do I really want her to survive.' She's so disfigured, she could be totally blind. You know, she swallowed some of it. What sort of life is she going to have?'"
As doctors were deciding on the next steps for Piper, police were on the trail of her assailant. Investigators discovered that a complete stranger had attacked Piper, but everyone would be horrified to learn who was truly behind this terrible attack.
Katie Piper's Foundation: http://www.katiepiperfoundation.org.uk/