Teenage acid attacker wrote fake poison pen letter

Emily Bowen carried out the attack on a schoolmate at Knox Academy, East Lothian.
Emily Bowen carried out the attack on a schoolmate at Knox Academy, East Lothian.

TEENAGE acid attacker Emily Bowen wrote a fake letter demanding she commit suicide - and pretended the note came from her victim.

Bowen, who was jailed this week for an acid attack on love rival Molly Young, prepared the evil note saying she should kill herself and signed it with Molly’s name.

The move by Bowen took place six weeks after she had poured One Shot drain cleaner - containing 91 per cent sulphuric acid - into her victim’s viola case.

The acidic liquid then poured out of the case and onto the 18-year-old’s legs as she took the instrument down from a shelf in the music room at Knox Academy, in Haddington, East Lothian.

Bowen was jailed for 21 months for the “wicked” incident which took place in September last year. The sentence was handed down by Sheriff Michael O’Grady at Edinburgh Sheriff Court on Monday.

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When Bowen pleaded guilty during a hearing on June 26 the court was told the 18-year-old had penned the letter to herself and signed it with her victim’s name.

Fiscal depute Aidan Higgins said: “On November 10 last year Emily Bowen prepared a letter which appeared to come from Molly Young in which she talked of Emily Bowen to kill herself.

“Subsequently Emily Bowen admitted it was she who was the author of the letter.”

And on Monday Sheriff O’Grady referred to the fake letter during his sentencing, saying her “careful and premeditated actions” combined with the penning of the note “casts a very disturbing light on your thinking”.

A friend, who did not want to identified, said: “What Emily did to poor Molly was really bad and she deserves everything she gets.

“But to make it all the worse she wrote that letter saying she could kill herself and then pretended it came from Molly. I mean, how sick is that?

“Some folk in the town had sympathy for her after the acid incident as they thought it was a spur of the moment thing, but after finding out about the letter they soon changed their minds.

“And add that to the internet searches on how to carry out acid attacks and what sentences the attackers would get has meant she has almost no friends left around here.

“It was cold and calculated and not something you would expect from a fresh-faced, well brought up young teenager.

“It caused Molly a lot of added heartache at a time when she should have been recuperating from the acid incident. Molly was really disturbed by the letter as a few folk believed it was her who wrote it.”

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Bowen, from Haddington, is the daughter of Andrew Bowen QC and the family friend also revealed the teenager wanted to follow in her father’s legal footsteps as she was due to study law at Aberdeen University.

But those career dreams are now over as she will spend the next 21 months behind bars.

The friend said: “Emily had been accepted to Aberdeen University to take a law degree. She is a very intelligent girl and she would have sailed through any degree she wanted to do.

“She has always looked up to her father Andy and I think it was a dream of hers to follow him in his profession.

“I do feel sorry for her in a way as she had everything in front of her, she has a great family and didn’t ask for anything but you really cannot excuse what she did.”

Andrew Bowen QC sat beside his daughter in the dock when she pleaded guilty to recklessly and culpably pouring sulphuric acid into Molly Young’s viola case during a court hearing in June.

The experienced advocate is currently employed by Edinburgh legal company Terra Firma Chambers which specialises in property, planning, commercial and administrative law.

Mr Bowen has in the past worked for the United Nations in a legal capacity. He was based in the Gaza Strip, Kosovo and the West Bank.