Harold Wood woman: My 'acid' attack ordeal
PUBLISHED: 12:09 08 October 2010 | UPDATED: 12:39 08 October 2010
A WOMAN who was doused in a corrosive liquid by bike-riding hoodies in Harold Wood claims she was attacked because of her height.
The 4ft 10in supermarket worker was squirted in the chest with an as yet unidentified liquid, which burnt like acid, by a gang-of-three at 7.30pm on Monday in Cornflower Way.
The 53-year-old, who asked not be named, suffered second degree burns in the attack and may lose a nipple.
The gang, thought to be teenagers, had verbally abused the woman last week as she walked her Labrador-Alsatian cross, Alfie, near her home.
“They called me a midget,” she told the Recorder in an exclusive interview.
“They were picking on me because I’m small. They surrounded me and the dog on their bikes and were being very intimidating.”
The woman, who has lived in the area for 29 years, believes it was the same gang who attacked her on Monday while walking Alfie.
This time the boys, who were all wearing dark hooded tops, turned violent.
One, riding a distinctive white BMX bike, pushed the mum-of-three to the ground from behind, while another doused her and the dog, in the liquid, before cycling off.
“At first all I felt was wet,” she said.
“Then the next thing I could feel was burning and Alfie had run off yelping, obviously in pain.
“The frightening thing is these boys must have been carrying this substance around with them, looking for trouble. Their intention was to hurt somebody.”
“They have destroyed my life in a way because I don’t want to go out by myself, I’m nervous, and I feel like a prisoner in my own home.”
The woman was taken to Queen’s Hospital, Rom Valley Way, Romford, where she received treatment, but she must now undergo expert care at the specialist burns unit at Broomfield Hospital, Chelmsford.
The woman’s 18-year-old daughter fears for her mum’s safety.
“When I was told about what happened to my mum I went to bits,” the former Redden School pupil said.
“You feel so useless and angry. I’ll not let her go out alone at night again.
“These are stupid little boys who think they are hard men. How would they like it if it was done to their mum? What kind of boys are these that pick on a defenceless woman?”
The boys are said to be white, aged between 15 and 16 years old, and were wearing dark clothing with hooded tops.
Forensic tests are currently being carried out on the woman’s clothes and the local Safer Neighbourhood Team has stepped up patrols in the area in the wake of the attack.
Witnesses to the assault or anyone who recognises the descriptions of the boys or the distinctive white BMX are urged to call PS Jobling at Romford Police Station on: 0300 123 1212 or Crimestoppers on: 0800 555 111.