Extra prison time for Muslim man who arranged fire attack on sex worker

A Muslim man in Sydney who recruited a teenager to set fire to a sex worker he was obsessed with has had his jail sentence increased by three years after prosecutors successfully argued it was inadequate.

Mohammed Ali Fouani, 46, was found guilty by a NSW District Court jury last year of causing grievous bodily harm with intent and recruiting a child to carry out a criminal activity on the Korean woman on a student visa in 2012.

The victim sustained deep burns to 45 per cent of her body and was left disfigured, according to court documents.

The Muslim man was jailed in March for 14 years with a non-parole period of 10 years and six months.

But this was quashed in the NSW Court of Criminal Appeal on Wednesday, due to its “manifest inadequacy” and Fouani was re-sentenced to 18 years imprisonment with a non-parole period of 13 years and six months.

“In my respectful opinion, the aggregate sentence imposed at first instance patently fails to reflect the profound objective gravity of the crimes of the respondent,” said Justice Clifton Hoeben, sitting with Justices Michael Walton and Richard Button.

Fouani has also not revealed any signs of contrition or remorse and offered no explanation for his conduct, the judgment states.

The victim spent two months in hospital and underwent multiple skin grafts for burns to 45 per cent of her body. Photo: 7 News

The Crown’s appeal submissions included that the initial sentence did not reflect the District Court judge’s findings that Fouani was the “architect of the enterprise” and his moral culpability “far greater” than the boy’s.

Fouani became infatuated with the Korean English student / sex worker after meeting her at a brothel in 2010, professing his love in texts and calls. In 2012, after becoming besotted with her, he asked the then-33-year-old not to return to work and to live with him as his girlfriend.

The plastering contractor, then 41, hatched a plan to force her from the industry when it became clear she was hesitant.

Although the 17-year-old boy was the one who poured accelerant over the woman and set her alight, the facts state he’d been pressured by Fouani to “scare” her, offered up to $70,000 and ultimately threatened with a gun.

With time already served, Fouani will be eligible for parole in October 2026.

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