ALLEGED conspirators in an acid attack on a three-year-old boy in Worcester were in telephone contact before and after an earlier, aborted attack outside a city school, a court heard.

The seven defendants including the child’s father deny conspiracy to apply a corrosive fluid with intent to burn, maim, disfigure or disable the boy or cause him grievous bodily harm at Home Bargains as their trial continues at Worcester Crown Court.

The boy suffered burns to his arm and forehead during the alleged attack using sulphuric acid as he screamed ‘I hurt, I hurt, I hurt’. His mother dialled 999 and he was taken to hospital after the alleged attack on July 21 last year.

The defendants are: The child’s 40-year-old father who cannot be identified for legal reasons; Adam Cech, aged 27, of Farnham Road, Birmingham who is said by the prosecution have squirted the acid on the boy; Jan Dudi, 25, of Cranbrook Road, Birmingham; Jabar Paktia, 42, of New Hampton Road, Wolverhampton; Norbert Pulko, aged 22, of Sutherland Road, London; Saied Hussini, 42, of Wrottesley Road, London; and Martina Badiova, 22, of Newcombe Road, Birmingham.

Prosecutor Jonathan Rees QC with the support of a data analyst yesterday talked the jury through the links between the alleged conspirators before and after what they say was a failed attempt to commit an acid attack outside a Worcester school on July 13 last year, eight days before the actual attack. The evidence centred on a timeline showing where the defendants were at certain locations and times considered relevant to the prosecution case.

This data comes from cell site analysis which is based on their mobile phones connecting to masts to infer their location.

The prosecution is also using this evidence to establish co-location, when two or more phones and therefore (it is suggested) also defendants are in the same place and at the same time.

Reference was also made to data and images from automatic number plate recognition devices showing where cars linked to the defendants were at specific times while call data logs also showed phone contact between the defendants

The evidence shows that on July 13 last year, the day of what the prosecution say was the failed acid attack there was a pattern of calls showing that Pulko had called Hussini and Hussini called Paktia before Paktia called the father of the boy, the man the prosecution say organised the acid attack. The prosecution has previously claimed that the two Afghans - Hussini and Paktia - were middle men between the Aghan father and the Slovak and Czech defendants which include Cech, the man alleged to have squirted acid at the boy.

ANPR cameras show that on this day a Vauxhall Astra linked to Pulko was being driven south on the M5 at 7am that day before Paktia also set off for Worcester from Wolverhampton in his Vauxhall Zafira. Badiova used Google to search for a primary school where the prosecution say the aborted attack was due to take place. The jury was also played footage from a video which the prosecution say was taken on Paktia’s phone at 9am that morning as his Zafira was driven through Worcester. The footage shows him parking his car in Shrub Hill Retail Park near Home Bargains, the store where the alleged attack happened eight days later. The video was deleted five and a half hours after it was taken, the court heard.

Mr Rees also said the evidence showed that Pulko’s and Hussini’s phones were in the same location.

There are also calls and texts this morning between the father and Hussini.

Photos of Hussini, Pulko and Badiova taken by a witness outside a Worcester school were also shown to the jury. Mr Rees said in his opening that the three defendants were photographed loitering outside the school for hours and that Pulko was recorded on CCTV following the father’s wife and children with ‘an object of some sort in his hands’. No attack was carried out at that stage.

Mr Rees also told the jury how another witness called police but officers did not arrive until after the three defendants had left. The photos showed Pulko wearing clear plastic gloves when he was sitting inside the Astra, although he removed the gloves when he got out of the car.

That day ANPR evidence also indicates that the father’s car was driven south towards Worcester but the prosecution does not have any mobile phone evidence to suggest it was the defendant driving it.

The trial continues.