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Acid attack victim originally described defendant as 'Asian'

ACID ATTACK: Naomi Oni before and after she had acid thrown on her

A VICTORIA’S Secret lingerie store worker who had acid thrown in her face, allegedly by her friend, originally described her attacker as a Asian woman in a Muslim veil, a court heard.

The jury at Snaresbrook Court in northeast London, was yesterday (Jan 14) told that 21-year-old Naomi Oni from Dagenham, had said in earlier statements, that she could tell the attacker had been Asian by “the skin around her eyes.”

Detective Parkerhouse also confirmed that Ato, Oni’s boyfriend at the time who had been with her at the hospital “read out her statement before she signed it.”

The police officer stated Oni had voiced her concerns about doing late hours at her workplace, in which “she felt vulnerable” therefore, “blamed them for the incident.”

Oni, 21, a university student was attacked in the early hours of December 30, 2012, as she walked home from her job at shop Victoria's Secret in Westfield shopping centre, Stratford, east London.

She spent a month in hospital after suffering burns to her face, lost her hair and eyelashes, and had to undergo skin grafts.

Her friend Mary Konye, of Canning Town, east London, has been charged with intent to burn, maim, disfigure, disable or do grievous bodily harm to Oni.

The jury also heard that a warrant had to be issued because of Oni’s refusal to hand over her phone as part of the investigation.

Parkerhouse said she had been unaware the university student had deleted the phone’s internet history the day before police were due to collect it from her home on March 11, 2013.

Nicholas Harlow, a Forensic Computer Analyst for the Met Police who had examined the phone, confirmed there had been no Safari history prior to the 10th March and that it “had been modified at 17.52pm” that same day.

Harlow explained he had examined Oni’s laptop and discovered her iPhone had been backed up on December 4, 2012. He also found a photograph of a young lady with a disfigured face that had been accessed via instagram.

Although, “the last time the image had been viewed was either on or before 28th October 2012”, Harlow was unsure whether it had been forwarded on.

He also mentioned a second image of a man who had acid thrown on his genitals, received and viewed on WhatsApp.

The caption read: “A woman in Africa caught husband cheating and threw acid on his bits and bobs”, but Harlow was unsure of the date and whether it had been forwarded on.

He also confirmed that he did not find anything else relevant to the acid attack on the laptop.

Oni previously admitted deleting her internet search history on her mobile phone because she felt “violated” and did not want the police going through her personal data.

The defence claim Oni threw acid over herself and enlisted Konye to follow her in an Islamic veil so it would appear to be a “random attack” because she was seeking fame and fortune like Piper.

Oni has denied hatching a plan with her friend and being obsessed with Piper, a model left scared and blinded in one eye after she had sulpheric acid thrown in her face in a 2008 attack arranged by her ex-boyfriend Daniel Lynch.

The jurors heard the young women had been friends since they were 11 years old, but had a rocky relationship.

They fell out over text messages Konye sent to Oni’s then boyfriend and had insulted each other's looks.

Konye was angry Oni had called her "Wrong Turn" after the disfigured cannibals from the horror film, the court heard, but the pair soon patched things up.

Witnesses said Konye had posted a picture of Freddy Krueger, a character from Nightmare On Elms Street on WhatsApp shortly after the attack with the message underneath: "Who looks like Wrong Turn now?"

Since then Konye has admitted dressing up in the Muslim veil and stalking Oni, but denied throwing acid on her face.

The case continues.

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