AN 'obsessed' dad offered up to £5,000 to 'mark' his three-year-old son and considered having him cut before he was attacked with acid, a court heard.

The child's father broke down in tears during his third day in the witness box at Worcester Crown Court today and will continue giving evidence for a fourth day tomorrow.

The boy who screamed in pain suffered chemical burns to his forehead and left forearm when squirted with sulphuric acid at Home Bargains in Worcester at 2.16pm on July 21 last year.

The 40-year-old Afghan disputed claims he showed one of his alleged co-conspirators a badminton racquet with an adapted handle concealing a blade produced from the boot of his car in the weeks before the attack. However, he admitted he lied to police in his interview.

Lauren Soertsz, for alleged 'middle man' Saied Hussini, asked the father if he was 'obsessed' with the family proceedings involving his children and he replied 'yes'.

The court heard how a petition for divorce had already been served upon the dad on June 13 last year. This was supposed to be the date of a final family court hearing to decide who should have custody of his children.

However, the case was adjourned and both parties had to provide a schedule of eight allegations by June 20 last year with any reply to be provided by July 17.

Miss Soertsz said this gave the father 'just four weeks to prove that she (his wife) was a bad mother' so he would be given custody.

Miss Soertsz said the father had referred to a plan to 'mark the child and blame the mother'.

However, the father replied 'I never said that'. She also put it to him: "You found somebody who could mark your child with a sharp object."

"This is not the truth" said the father.

She said during a meeting on July 5 last year that Hussini said to the father: "You cannot do such a thing. You cannot harm your own child."

Miss Soertsz said that Hussini had told the father: "It is better that you lose custody than hurt your own child. The meeting ended with Mr Hussini saying to you that you must not hurt the child and he would think of another solution."

The father said: "First of all I cannot harm my child because my child is my heart and secondly I have not discussed that with Mr Hussini."

Miss Soertsz also put it to the father that he had again mentioned harming one of his children on July 9 last year after picking up her client before driving him to Wolverhampton and taking a detour to Worcester on the way there.

"You told him during that journey you had found somebody who could mark your child for £5,000" she said.

"Why would I mark my own child?" he said.

Miss Soertsz said: "You went to the boot didn't you? You got from the boot a badminton racquet with a wooden handle, didn't you?"

"No" said the dad.

"Hidden, you had adapted the handle of the racquet to carry a blade at the bottom of it" she said.

"This is a complete lie - it's not true" replied the father.

"You said that was a weapon you were going to give to the man to mark your child didn't you?" said Miss Soertsz.

"What do you mean, mark my own child?" said the father.

"You told him you only had that week in which to harm one of your children didn't you?" said Miss Soertsz.

She also said that Hussini had given the father 'alternative options' on July 9 and 10 last year, that there was 'a better option than cutting the child' and there was a person would do the work for £3,000.

But the father said he had never discussed it and denied meeting Norbert Pulko on July 10 last year.

Pulko, Adam Cech and Jan Dudi are the three men captured on CCTV in Home Bargains on July 21 last year.

But the father said: "I have never met with Pulko." She put it to him: "Mr Pulko said a better option was using acid to mark the child."

"If I did not know Mr Pulko I never discussed that" said the dad and denied that he had agreed to pay him £3,000.

The father denied supplying Jabar Paktia and Pulko with acid or that he had seen them test it upon themselves in his home.

"The people in the room asked you to test the acid on yourself and you said you wouldn't because if there was any suspicion following an injury to the child then the police would come looking for you" said Miss Soertsz.

The father said this had not happened in his house and added: "I have never seen a test. I do not know what you are talking about."

Jonathan Rees QC, prosecuting, asked the father if he had given anyone any reason to think he wanted his child to be burned. He also asked him what he would have done if somebody came up to him and said they had burned his son with acid and asked for money.

"I would not give them any money. I would inform police" he said. Mr Rees said the father had 'something to gain' from his son being burned.

"Do you agree you are a man prepared to lie when it suits you?" said Mr Rees.

The father said he had not known whether to say 'yes or no' in the police interview and that he had been 'nervous'.

Mr Rees told he had lied to police about going to Birmingham on July 21 last year and he had lied when he denied going to Worcester on that day.

"Yes" said the dad to both questions.

The father denies conspiracy to apply a corrosive fluid with intent.

The other six defendants all deny the same charged. They are Adam Cech, aged 27, of Farnham Road, Birmingham; 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.

The trial continues.