LONDON -- A jury in central England on Wednesday convicted a father of enlisting men to attack his 3-year-old son with a corrosive acid amid a custody battle with the child's mother.
The jury found the 40-year-old man and five others guilty of conspiracy with intent to "burn, maim or disfigure." The boy suffered serious injuries on his face and arm when sulfuric acid was thrown on him inside a store in July.
Prosecutors alleged the father wanted more contact with his son and organized the plot to manufacture evidence the child's mother was unfit to care for him.
The father was sentenced to 16 years in prison. The five co-defendants received prison terms of 12 to 14 years. A seventh defendant was acquitted.
Judge Robert Juckes told the men they committed a "monstrous" crime that had been carefully planned and executed.
"It is an extraordinary thing, in this case, that not one of you, most of whom have no previous convictions, most of whom with families of your own, at any stage stood back and asked the question of yourself and others, 'What are we doing?'" Juckes said.
A statement from the mother was read out loud in court. She said she would be in serious danger when the father is released from prison.