Pub acid attack leaves woman ‘temporarily blinded'

By Georgina Townshend contact

- Last updated on GMT

Mistaken identity: woman left temporarily blinded after pub acid attack. Image Google Maps.
Mistaken identity: woman left temporarily blinded after pub acid attack. Image Google Maps.

Related tags: Bury st edmunds

An acid attack in a pub in Suffolk has left a woman, who was "not the intended target", temporarily blinded.

The incident took place at the Glad Abbot pub, on Glastonbury Road, Bury St Edmunds, on Friday (22 September) at around 11pm.

According to police, two men – one wearing a hooded top and one wearing a baseball cap – entered the pub and threw a “noxious substance” from a bottle that hit a woman in the face.

A spokesman for Suffolk Police said: “The victim, a woman in her 30s, was treated at the scene by East of England ambulance staff and then taken to hospital for further assessment.

“At this time she has temporarily lost the sight in one eye and is receiving further medical attention.”

Officers said work is under way to determine what the substance was.

Wrong place, wrong time

Speaking anonymously to the BBC, the woman said: “It started to burn. I wasn’t expecting it and I didn’t really know what to do. I got grabbed by some lovely people and rushed to clear my face up.”

She continued: “I have no idea who it was meant for, it was just random, I was in the wrong place at the wrong time”.

Officers are not treating the incident as a random attack. However, the victim is not believed to have been the intended target.

Connected incident

At just after 10pm, on the same evening, police received a number of calls that two vehicles were driving dangerously on Out Risbygate and Newmarket Road in Bury St Edmunds.

It was reported that two cars, thought to be a blue Ford Fiesta and a Vauxhall Insignia (possibly a white or silver estate) were driving in a dangerous manner and were colliding with each other.

Officers are looking at possible connections between this incident and the attack in the Glastonbury Road.

The Morning Advertiser​ contacted the Glad Abbot, but no one at the pub wanted to comment.

How licensees should respond​ if an acid attack happens in their pub

Act fast. Make sure someone calls the emergency services and tells them how many victims there are. Work out the quickest way to get clean, running water onto the burned area. The area will need to be continually washed for a minimum of 20 minutes. Only use clean water. Do not use milk.

Ensure you and the victim are in a safe area and, while helping the victim, protect yourself from splashes with protective gloves, ideally those that also protect the arms, and safety glasses.

If the substance is a powder you will need to use a cloth or piece of clothing to brush it away, making sure you don’t contaminate yourself. Some powders react when wet so don’t use water in these circumstances.

If acid has been thrown into the eyes, use a sterile water eye-wash if available and direct the water into the eyes. If possible remove contact lenses. If the corrosive liquid has been thrown in one eye, ensure you’re not washing it into the unaffected eye.

When washing the face, wash away from the eyes. Try and wash away from the face and body and avoid liquid pooling under the body.

Carefully remove clothes and jewellery affected, you may need to cut them off to avoid spreading the corrosive substance. These items will be a safety hazard so you’ll need to store them carefully because the hospital may need them or the police, as evidence.

Witnesses to either incident or anybody who has any information are asked to call CID West on 101 reference 62635/17. Alternatively contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or through their anonymous online form at www.crimestoppers-uk.org​.

Related topics: Health & safety

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