Katie Piper describes 'difficult time' as her acid attacker prepares for prison release from life sentence

Chris Parsons
News Editor
Katie Piper, pictured in June, said she’s experiencing a ‘difficult time’ as it emerged her attacker is set for release. (Rex)

Strictly Come Dancing’s Katie Piper described her ‘difficult time’ as it emerged her acid attacker is to be released from prison.

Stefan Sylvestre, now 30, from Shepherd’s Bush, west London, was given a life sentence in 2009 for the attack and was told he must serve a minimum of six years before he would be eligible for parole.

Piper, currently training for the 16th series of Strictly, suffered horrific injuries in the acid attack that left her permanently scarred.

The presenter, 34, took to Twitter this morning as it was revealed that Sylvestre has been approved for release after a parole hearing.

Stefan Sylvestre was given a life sentence in 2009 but has been recommended for release. (PA)

She tweeted: ‘I am trying to come to terms with the decision and this is something I have to deal with.

‘Over the past two weeks Strictly has already given me such a welcome and positive distraction from my past.

‘Whilst there is never a good time to hear this news, I am glad I have this new journey to concentrate on.’

Piper was left fighting for her life after obsessive ex-boyfriend Daniel Lynch arranged for Sylvestre to throw the corrosive liquid in March 2008.

A spokeswoman for the Parole Board said: ‘We can confirm that a panel of the Parole Board directed the release of Mr Stefan Sylvestre following an oral hearing.

‘Parole Board decisions are solely focused on whether a prisoner would represent a significant risk to the public after release.

‘The panel will have carefully looked at a whole range of evidence, including details of the original evidence and any evidence of behaviour change.

READ MORE ON YAHOO NEWS UK

‘Shame on you’: Woman leaves nasty note for dad’s ‘not genuine’ use of disabled parking spot
Isolated Amazon tribe captured in remarkable drone footage
Luton Airport named UK’s ‘worst airport’ for the third year in a row
In pictures: Premier League billionaire docks 321ft superyacht Aviva on the Thames

‘We do that with great care and public safety is our number one priority.’

The Parole Board’s decision summary said Sylvestre’s case was considered at an oral hearing, adding that Piper read statements in person to the panel.

‘The panel took full account of the content of these statements and the supporting documentation,’ the summary says.

The document adds: ‘The panel considered that there were a number of things that reduced Mr Sylvestre’s risk of causing serious harm in the future.


Daniel Lynch was jailed for life with a minimum of 16 years for rape and organising the acid attack. (Rex)

‘Mr Sylvestre is now 30 years of age and was just 19 when he committed the index offence.

‘He was drawn into a criminal lifestyle in his teens and was involved with drugs.

‘During his time in custody, Mr Sylvestre has actively avoided anti-social behaviour within the prison and has avoided violence, despite being under threat.

‘He has behaved well to distance himself from such influences.

‘He has repaired his relationship with his family, has gained employment-related skills and improved his education.

‘He has not been involved in drugs in prison and has completed relevant offence-focused work to challenge and change his attitude and thinking.’

Recovery: Katie Piper pictured in 2009. (Rex)

The summary said a forensic psychologist told the panel that there were factors which would protect Sylvestre from returning to offending and a criminal lifestyle, including his improved relationship with his family and his plans for the future.

‘Mr Sylvestre displayed empathy for the victim and expressed remorse and shame for his actions,’ the summary said.

The Parole Board summary said Sylvestre became eligible to be considered for release on April 8 2014, and had a previous review by the Parole Board in 2015.

Lynch was jailed for life with a minimum of 16 years for sexually assaulting Piper and telling Sylvestre to throw acid over her.

The pair had dated briefly before steroid-fuelled martial arts fan Lynch, who had a previous conviction for pouring boiling water over a man, became obsessively jealous.

In court, Lynch and Sylvestre were told by Judge Nicholas Browne QC they were ‘the face of pure evil’.

Piper, a former model, is best known for sharing her story about surviving the attack in the documentary Katie: My Beautiful Face.