Internet warning from acid attack survivor

Katie Piper signing her book. for Hartlepool Sixth Form College Student Kathy Hall
Katie Piper signing her book. for Hartlepool Sixth Form College Student Kathy Hall

A FORMER model who was scarred for life in an acid attack has warned students about the dangers of meeting people on the internet.

Budding TV presenter Katie Piper was disfigured in 2008 by a man her possessive boyfriend, who she had met online, hired to throw sulphuric acid in her face.

Three years on and after 40 operations, the courageous 27-year-old gives talks all over the country about her ordeal and has written a book, titled Beautiful.

Through the Katie Piper Foundation, she also helps other burn and scar victims through their ordeals.

She visited Hartlepool Sixth Form College, in Blakelock Road, as part of a tour and gave a talk in the lecture hall before speaking to psychology students.

Carole Horseman, vice-principal at the college, said: “Katie was very relaxed and open about what had happened to her and how it has changed her life.

“The students were absolutely spellbound by her, she was very engaging and happy to answer any questions.

“Her key message was to be very careful about meeting people you get to know on the internet. She is a fantastic role model and gave a good insight to our psychology students who are looking at health and the impact of events.”

Students also presented a cheque for £455 to go to the Katie Piper Foundation.

In March 2008, sulphuric acid was thrown at Katie’s face by Stefan Sylvestre in North London.

The attack, which blinded her in one eye, was arranged by her ex-boyfriend, Daniel Lynch, who she had met on the internet.

He had gradually turned violent before raping her in a hotel room. Katie hid herself away after the attack, but came out of her home to visit an internet cafe to read an email that Lynch said he had sent her.

But as she walked down the street, Sylvestre threw a cup of sulphuric acid in her face.

Both Sylvestre and Lynch were given life sentences, with Lynch told he will serve a minimum of 16 years.

In 2009, Katie chose to give up her anonymity and featured in the Channel 4 documentary Katie: My Beautiful Face as part of the Cutting Edge series.