England: 3-Year Old Child Suffered Serious Injuries from Deliberate Acid Attack


Worcester, England: A three-year old toddler boy, who was sitting in his stroller while his mother was shopping, was reported to have been deliberately targeted in an acid attack.  He sustained serious injuries to his arms and face.  Police have arrested a 39-year-old Wolverhampton man on suspicion of conspiracy to commit grievous bodily harm, and three more men, aged 22, 25 and 26, were also arrested in London on similar charges.

UPDATE: From the UK Daily Mail:

A West Mercia Police source confirmed to MailOnline that the older detainee is the victim’s father from Wolverhampton.

She said today: ‘He is still in custody. No charges as yet have been brought. This is an ongoing investigation.’

The man, who is understood to have split up from his partner and mother of his toddler son, is being held on suspicion of conspiracy to commit grievous bodily harm.

The mother had been hiding in a safe-house after a fractious break up.

Following the attack she and her son, who was treated in hospital for acid burns to his hands and face, were moved into a police safe house amid fears they could be attacked again.

Mark Travis, Chief Superintendent of West Mercia Police, hinted that a community dispute may have led to the vile attack

Mark Travis, Chief Superintendent of West Mercia Police, hinted that a community dispute may have led to the vile attack

She had been living with the toddler and her two other children in a secluded residential street in Worcester after fleeing the family home in Wolverhampton because of ‘difficulties within her relationship,’ a new neighbour said.

Her child suffered serious burns when a bright pink acid was thrown over him as he sat in his pushchair in the city’s Home Bargains store on Saturday while his mother shopped.

Four men have been arrested in connection with the attack – and she is now in a safe house with her son under police protection amid fears they could be attacked again.

One neighbour said there had been ‘bad blood’ caused by a family dispute and said the attack may have been launched over the end of a relationship with the three-year-old’s mother, who could have been the true target.

A source close to the investigation revealed the mother, who has not been named, had fled to Worcester from Wolverhampton after ‘difficulties within her family’.

A 39-year-old was later arrested in the city.

The source said: ‘She had moved to Worcester from elsewhere but hasn’t been here long. She had moved because of difficulties within her family.

‘Nobody knows her really well and she didn’t have any connection with Worcester. That’s why she was moved here, because she was fleeing her previous situation.

‘Somehow the parties she was in a dispute with found out where she had moved to and that’s how this horrendous incident has happened.

‘The acid attack was targeted at her. The child just happened to get in the way.’

Chief Superintendent Mark Travis, who is leading the investigation, says he is keeping an ‘open mind’ about the motive and target of the attack.

But hinting about a row he said: ‘This is not the way to resolve issues and disputes in communities’.

The mother screamed ‘What have you done to my baby?’ after the thugs hurled the pink acid at the toddler in an attack which was captured on CCTV in the discount store.

Three men, aged 22, 25, and 26, were arrested in Walthamstow, east London in the early hours of yesterday morning on suspicion of conspiracy to commit grievous bodily harm.

Neighbours said they believed the attackers were from the ‘gypsy community’.

On Sunday officers made enquiries near the woman’s home, asking residents if they had seen any suspicious vehicles or people in the area.

And last night police forensic officers could be seen combing the area. They were also seen searching a nearby phone box.

Police have said they are keeping an ‘open mind’ about the attack but do not believe it was gang-related. They have ruled out racial tension or any link to the nearby English Defence League march.

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A DESPERATE mum screamed ‘what have they done to my baby?’ after thugs hurled acid in her three-year-old son’s face as he sat in his pram.

Police are hunting three men after the toddler was left with serious burns when a substance was thrown at him inside Home Bargains in Worcester yesterday afternoon.

Witnesses to the horror scene described seeing a woman screaming for help as a “skinny white guy” fled the shop.

One shocked onlooker told the Daily Mail the mum was later seen with her head in her hands screaming: ‘My baby, my baby, what have they done to my baby?’

The child was rushed to hospital with serious burns but has since been discharged. Police said the long-term effect of the toddler’s injuries are not yet known.

A 39-year-old man from Wolverhampton has been arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to commit grievous bodily harm and remains in police custody.

West Mercia Police speaks about the latest updates of the Worcester acid attack – Boy, 3, was sitting in pram outside Home Bargains on family shopping trip

Chief Superintendent Mark Travis, from West Mercia Police, said: “The child has now been released from hospital. He is back home with his family.

“He has burns to his face and arms. We are uncertain about the long-term implications of those burns.”

The incident occurred at around 2.15pm in Home Bargains at the Shrub Hill Retail Park in Worcester.

Although a racial motive has not been ruled out, detectives have said the attack is not believed to be linked to an English Defence League march which took place nearby.

A worker at a nearby hardware store said: “It’s just disgusting. They told me he was covered in some kind of spray.”

The busy retail park was filled with families and children as they enjoy the start of their summer holidays at the time of the attack.

Donna Bird, who runs a city centre pub, said: “It’s sickening to think that someone would do this, let alone to a three-year-old defenceless child. Nowhere is safe anymore.

“To think that this happened when you’re going shopping or just going out about your normal day. I hope he makes a full recovery, must be heartbreaking for his parents.”

Eye-witness Rachel Bryant, 22, said: “I’d been shopping with my mum and were heading to Home Bargains when there were loads of police and ambulances. I saw a woman crying and being comforted by police. I didn’t know what it was all about.

“When I heard about the little boy being attacked with acid I couldn’t believe it. I assume the woman I saw could have been his mum or relative.

“It’s horrendous to think something like this could happen to a little boy in the middle of a shop on a Saturday afternoon.”

Police officers were seen scouring bins and looking under cars today as they searched for the container which was used in the acid attack.

Shocked shoppers have described seeing police cars and ambulances dashing to the shop where the three-year-old boy was attacked.

Another shopper, who did not want to be named, said: “I heard from someone who works at the shop that the man [who attacked the boy] was a skinny white guy.

“He was about 5ft 11ins and he ran out the shop.”

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