17-year-old Derryck John, of Thornton Heath, Croydon, south London, pleaded guilty to 12 charges at Wood Green Crown Court today, Monday, 8 January.
He had denied any wrongdoing but changed his plea after fresh CCTV images were shown of him riding a stolen moped at a Texaco petrol station in Hackney that night.
Finger prints were also found on a scooter that was stolen on June 25, which was used in the rampage.
Judge Noel Lucas lifted Reporting restrictions on naming the boy, and said: “There’s an overwhelming public interest in knowing the identity of the defendant and his age.”
The teenager "didn't appreciate the damage" he'd caused, a court heard as he admitted carrying out a spate of acid attacks on moped riders in an attempt to steal their vehicles.
Six counts of throwing a corrosive substance with intent to disable, maim, disfigure or do grievous bodily harm
Four counts of attempted robbery of a moped
Two counts of robbery of a moped.
On Thursday, 13 July 2017 between approximately 9:30pm and 11:41pm, police were called to six separate incidents of attempted robbery of mopeds.
1 - At 9:30pm on Penny Brook Street at the junction with De Coubertin Street.
The victim saw the pillion passenger on anothe moped that had pulled up next to him raise his arm and felt a splash on his face. The victim immediately accelerated away along Penny Brook Street, pursued by the suspects. The pursuit continued on Penny Brook Street, Leyton Road, Windmill Lane and Leytonstone Road. From here he managed to lose the suspect vehicle which continued onto Forest Lane.
2 - At 10:25pm police were called by the London Ambulance Service to Hackney Road, junction with Queensbridge Road, E2 to reports of a robbery.
A 32-year-old man suffered injuries to his face after two male moped riders threw a corrosive substance in his face and stole the moped he was riding.
The two suspects then made off from the scene, one on the stolen moped.
3 - At 10:49pm police were called to St Paul's Road, N1 in Islington, near the border with Hackney. A 44-year-old man riding a moped had a corrosive substance thrown in his face by two males also on a moped.
The two suspects left the scene empty handed.
4 - At 11:05hrs police were called to Shoreditch High Street, E8.
A 52-year-old man had a corrosive substance thrown in his face by two males on a moped.
The victim was also riding a moped but the suspects again got away empty handed.
5 - At 11:18pm police were called to Cazenove Road, N16 near junction with Upper Clapton Road. A 24-year-old man was attacked in a similar way and nothing was stolen.
6 - At 11:37pm a 33-year-old man reported to police that he was on his moped in Chatsworth Road, E5 in traffic when two males on another moped pulled up alongside him and sprayed a liquid in his face.
They stole his moped and made off.
The victim made his way to his home address before contacting police.
All of the victims were taken to hospital, Two of them continue to receive treatment for their injuries. The other victims’ injuries were not life-threatening or life-changing and they were all subsequently discharged.
Derryck John was arrested in the early hours of Friday, 14 July after a road traffic collision involving a suspected stolen moped linked him to the attacks.
He was further implicated following a comprehensive investigation involving several witness enquiries and CCTV.
He will be sentenced on Friday, 9 March 2018.
in court he said "I'm terrified of the sentence that I will receive and I'm very sorry for what I did and realise I will receive a significant sentence of imprisonment."
DS James Leeks from Hackney CID said:“Derryck John did not think twice about using a life changing and even potentially life-threatening substance against those who resisted his robbery attempts. Acid attacks ruin lives and have no place in our society.
“It beggars belief that anyone would be prepared to scar someone for life and leave them to live with life-changing injuries for the sake of a phone or a moped. We are working hard to keep the public safe and make the streets hostile territory for criminals who steal scooters and use them to snatch valuables from members of the public. We have a particular focus on the small number of criminals prepared to use corrosive substances to do so.
“If someone is in fear of being attacked with acid, or knows someone who is going to use it, they need to report it to police or confidentially through Crimestoppers. Your information will be actioned and you will be fully supported.”
+ No further action has been taken against a 15-year-old male, who was also arrested on Friday, 14 July.
Video at the scene.