A 16-year-old boy in London was arrested and charged with 15 offenses after a string of acid attacks left five people injured. The following is the list of charges the teenager, who is not being named, faces:
- Five counts of attempted grievous bodily harm (GBH) with intent
- One count of GBH with intent
- Three counts of robbery
- Four counts of attempted robbery
- One count of handling stolen goods
The acid attacks took place in north and east London on Thursday over a span of 90 minutes.
The attacks were not entirely erratic, but seem to have followed a pattern. Chief Inspector Ben Clark, from the Met's Hackney Borough, revealed that all of the victims had been riding mopeds.
One of the victims was 32-year-old Jabed Hussain, who suffered corrosive burns to his lips. Hussain considers himself lucky in that he had his helmet on and could escape the "life-changing injuries" that one of the other victims suffered.
One victim was filmed having the liquid being washed off his eyes.
At the traffic lights, Hussain remembered a stream of what he thought was water being squirted on his lips. As the flesh-burning liquid dried, it started to burn a lot more. Hussain got bystanders to flood his face with water to mitigate the effects of the acid.
Hussain says that his daughter was horrified when she saw him after the attack. "When my daughter saw my face last night she was screaming and crying, she recognized me but she was looking at me in a different way."
Acid is fast becoming the weapon of choice due to its easy availability and the fact that it's not yet illegal to carry.
In 2012, there were 183 acid attacks in England — less than half of the number of acid attacks carried out to just March this year, 504. Last month, 21-year-old Resham Khanand her cousin Jameel Mukhtar were left with severe injuries after acid was thrown on their faces. There have been calls to restrict the sale of acid after the alarming increase in its use.
If you ever find yourself in a situation where someone has been the victim of an acid attack, please follow the steps detailed in this guide.