The 13th criminal bench of the Federal First Instance Court at Lideta on Wednesday sentenced a man who was found guilty of carrying out an acid attack on his wife’s face to two years and ten months of imprisonment. Yared Alemshet, 22, a driver, was taken to court by federal prosecutors on December 8 on charges of causing severe bodily harm to his wife. The attack, which occurred last April, had caused acid burns on the left side of the check, temple, neck and chin of Hayat Abdurezak, 18, a mother of two and wife of the defendant, while her left ear is deeply burned and totally destroyed, according to a medical report from Yekatit 12 Hospital.
The defendant, who confessed his guilt to the police during investigation, admitted committing the act and pleaded guilty to the prosecution’s charge during his first court appearance early last month.
The attack which followed a brief quarrel between the husband and wife was committed due to jealousy. The victim, with the intent of making her husband jealous, went out with another man while they were together, according to Yared, who explained the cause of his action to the court.
The criminal bench, presided over by judge Emebet Woldesilassie, passed the sentence on Wednesday in front of courtroom attendants, which included the victim and one of her sons. The judge, taking into account lack of prior criminal record on the part of the defendant, his repentance, age and his being the head of the family, sentenced him to a term of two years and ten months in jail. Hayat, wife and victim of Yared, broke down in tears when the judge pronounced the sentence on her husband, to whom she said she had been reconciled.
Just four years ago a similar acid attack against Kamilat Mehdi, causing a third-degree burn on her face, had shocked the nation. Demisew Zerihun, the person who was found guilty of attempted murder and causing severe bodily harm to Kamilat was sentenced to death by the Federal High Court.
However, the Federal Supreme Court, which rejected the charges of attempted murder, reduced the jail term to 20 years.
Causing severe bodily harm is an offense punishable with rigorous imprisonment ranging from one year to 15 years under the criminal code of the country.