A FORMER asylum seeker says he and two alleged co-conspirators were only ‘pretending’ to attack a child with acid outside a Worcester school.

Saied Hussini gave evidence from the witness box at Worcester Crown Court today, claiming he was trying to ‘save’ the boy from his own father.

The 43-year-old Afghan and six co-defendants, including the child’s father, deny a conspiracy to apply a corrosive fluid to the three-year-old.

Hussini, Norbert Pulko and Martina Badiova were photographed by suspicious locals outside a Worcester school on Friday, July 13 last year, eight days before the boy was squirted with sulphuric acid in Home Bargains. The prosecution say the trio were ‘loitering’ there as part of a ‘failed’ mission to attack the boy.

Answering questions from his barrister Lauren Soertsz, Hussini said they had been outside the school to ‘pretend we were doing this job’.

Hussini of Wrottesley Road, London, was outside the school for six hours and said he was ‘happy’ when he left at 3.30pm without any attack having taken place.

He saw Pulko wearing a plastic glove but denied he had seen any acid in the car (Pulko’s Vauxhall Astra). Hussini said they were given £1,100 for the job by Jabar Paktia but he gave the cash to Pulko. He said Paktia had asked him in the car if the child had been hurt. Hussini said: “I looked at him and said ‘I’m not mad’.” He said Paktia took a deep breath, smiled, parked the car and snorted some cocaine.

The court heard that Hussini stayed with the boy’s father between July 9 and July 13 last year but argued with him when he could not see a mark on his son. Hussini told the father that his wife may have covered the mark with ‘foundation’ but he replied: “You didn’t do the job.”

Hussini later offered to pay the father the money back in two to three months and offered to give him ‘half now’. Hussini said he told the father: “The work you asked me to do, no human brain can accept it.” Hussini said the father responded by swearing at him but Hussini said by not harming the man’s son he had ‘done the work of a brother’.

During an earlier conversation Hussini said the dad claimed he had been advised by his solicitor that if he marked the child he could get his children back and needed to ‘show the mother is not a good mother’.

The father was prepared to pay £3,000 in cash for the child to be ‘marked’ and could borrow a further £2,000, the court heard.

Hussini said the father told him he could have the boy marked with ‘something sharp’ and had found someone who would do it, and said he needed the work done within the week.

Hussini acknowledged it was his ‘biggest mistake’ that he had not called the police when he learned the father was planning to harm his child. Hussini said he had told Pulko: “We have to save the child. We have to pretend we are doing something wrong.”

Hussini admitted he was in contact with Pulko on the day of the alleged attack but said he'd been talking about his ‘toothache’ and wasn't aware Pulko was in Worcester.

The trial continues.