Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation
Top

Acid attack victim Naomi Oni accuses police of incompetence

rexfeatures-3537873aa.jpg
rexfeatures-3537873af.jpg
rexfeatures-3485306b.jpg

A woman left permanently scarred by an acid attack has accused the Metropolitan police of incompetence in handling her case, after they questioned whether her injuries were self-inflicted.

Naomi Oni described the "pain and backlash" she suffered in the aftermath of the attack in east London in December 2012, in an interview on Radio 4's Today programme.

The 22-year-old's friend Mary Konye was jailed for 12 years last week, after she was found guilty of secretly following Oni and throwing acid in her face.

But Oni claims that officers from Scotland Yard initially accused her of lying and were slow to act on her account of what happened.

"All I've done the whole time is just say what's happened to me and I've been accused of lying," Oni told Today presenter Mishal Husain.

Naomi Oni before the attack

She claimed the police treated her with suspicion because the search history on her computer showed that she had looked up plastic surgery sites and googled the name of Katie Piper, the model and actress who was attacked by acid in 2008, prior to being attacked herself.

But Oni said she had been interested in Piper simply because "it was a moving and touching story".

"If that has been found on my laptop, I don't see what that has to do with someone wearing a veil coming to attack me," she said.

Oni also pointed to CCTV footage used during the trial of her attacker, which clearly showed her wearing a veil and secretly following Oni home from her job at a Victoria's Secret shop in December 2012.

"You can see that what I said is what happened, so where did that accusation [about lying] come from?" Oni said. "We've all seen the CCTV footage. There was a person in a veil following me. Why was this not found in the beginning? Nobody has answers to tell me."

Naomi in hospital in 2012

Oni also claimed that as she lay partially blinded in hospital, undergoing multiple skin grafts and "with my family in pieces", the police were slow to react to her victim report.

"I just felt I got the response that, 'Oh well, we've gone and asked everyone in your area if they saw anything and no-one really seems to be sure,'" she recalled. "I even got told that they watched the CCTV footage and they saw no-one following me."

Oni is permanently scarred on her leg, chest, stomach and arms and has to wear a silicone face mask. She faces more reconstructive surgery in the future.

"I'm at a point in my life where everyone's busy, everyone's getting on with their daily activities and my life isn't so normal at the moment," she said. "I just feel isolated."

Before and after the acid attack

Konye had been a friend of Oni's and her solicitor said that her client's motivation for the attack "would always be shrouded in some doubt and mystery."

"This careful, premeditated criminality was planned against a person who reasonably believed you were a true friend," the judge told Konye, in sentencing her this month. "Her friendship had been so wilfully betrayed by you."

The Metropolitan Police told Radio 4 that they had considered all lines of enquiry in the early stages of their investigation.

"The investigation was detailed and complex and officers had a duty to explore every avenue of enquiry and retain an open mind about the circumstances," it said in a statement.

"The CCTV evidence took some time to collate and analyse but then clearly showed a veiled suspect trailing the victim before the attack. Konye was arrested as the investigation progressed."

Words: Anna Brech, Photos: Rex Features

Related

mumhero.jpg

15 things you could buy your mum

rexfeatures-3470288a.jpg

Infographic of 100 Shakespearean insults

hero.jpg

10 things to do under £10 this weekend

hero.jpg

Giraffe shares touching kiss with dying zoo-worker

Poignant-poetry.jpg

50 most poignant lines from poetry

kimk-voguecover.jpg

Kim and Kanye on the cover of US Vogue

Comments

More

The best A-list Instagrams from the week so far

From the Beckhams' proud moment to Serena Williams' fierce posing

by Nicola Colyer
28 Jun 2017

Michelle Rodriguez threatens to quit Fast & Furious over lack of women

“I just might have to say goodbye”

by Amy Swales
28 Jun 2017

The decision to name Mr Big was controversial, says SATC producer

It was a last-minute script choice

by Anna Brech
28 Jun 2017

“Why women are all beauty pageant contestants to Donald Trump”

“I bet she treats you well”

by Anna Pollitt
28 Jun 2017

Serena Williams’ reaction to her pregnancy test is refreshingly honest

Everyone needs to listen to what the tennis champion has to say

by Kayleigh Dray
28 Jun 2017

Jennifer Lawrence proves she’s a badass dog mum when man grabs her pet

Don’t ever try to touch her dog without permission

by Kayleigh Dray
28 Jun 2017

Amy Poehler is here to fight for your right to be an idiot

Because why should women always have to be the sensible ones?

by Moya Crockett
27 Jun 2017

OITNB’s Julie Lake on how she transforms into the delightful Angie

This is what the cast go through to inhabit their characters

by Amy Swales
27 Jun 2017

Serena Williams hits back at claim she couldn’t beat top male players

John McEnroe said Williams would be “like 700” in the men’s rankings.

by Moya Crockett
27 Jun 2017

Juror in Bill Cosby case blames victim Andrea Constand's outfit

It's 2017 and we're still blaming sexual violence on how women dress

by Elle Griffiths
27 Jun 2017