When a jealous colleague attacked 17-year-old musician Molly Young with drain cleaner, it wasn’t just physical scars that the schoolgirl suffered.
Appearing on today’s This Morning, the brave teenager – now 18 – recounted her terrifying ordeal, in which the corrosive sulphuric acid was hidden inside her viola case while she was in class.
Upon picking up the case, Molly found herself in agony as the flesh-burning liquid spilled onto her legs, causing appalling injuries.
But, as she explained on the ITV show, the permanent disfigurement was just one of her worries, and she also suffered post-traumatic stress disorder that forced her to stay away from school.
The incident occurred at Knox Academy in Haddington, East Lothian, in September last year.
Molly and her attacker, Emily Bowen, were both in the school orchestra when Molly started dating Emily’s ex-boyfriend.
In an act of vengeance, Emily hatched a plan against Molly – pouring drain cleaner that contained 91 per cent sulphuric acid into her instrument case.
Molly told Eamonn Holmes and Ruth Langsford: “I came back to school from an appointment, and I had music class.
“One of my friends said: ‘You’d better go and check your viola.’ I got halfway up the stairs and had a really bad feeling and asked my friend to come with me.
“In the room was an eggy smell. I remember looking at my viola and shrugging my shoulders. I just took it off the shelf like I do three times a day, and my tights just started to disintegrate.
“I didn’t really see it as I didn’t know that was going to happen. I saw the holes in my tights and thought: ‘What’s going on?’
“It was like someone holding a blow torch to your leg. If you burn your hand on an oven, you can take it away and run it under a cold tap. I couldn’t really pull it away as it was stuck to me. I ran to get help and it kept burning.”
Pictures shown on the programme revealed the extent of Molly’s physical injuries – the teenager was forced to undergo plastic surgery to repair her damaged limbs.
But she revealed the additional torment she’s had to suffer in the weeks and months after.
“It was quite hard to start off with, as I went back to school on the Monday – I felt like I needed to,” she said.
“It wasn’t until January, February this year that I felt the effects of PTSD.
“I couldn’t concentrate on anything, and it sounds silly but I would just start screaming for no reason as I felt frustrated and didn’t know how to get my frustration out.”
Earlier this week, Emily Bowen was jailed for 21 months for the attack, which was described in court as “utterly wicked”.
She was also given a five-year non-harrassment order, which prevents her from contacting the victim.
But for Molly, the scars – both physical and mental – could live with her forever.