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Woman attacked with noxious liquid in Bury St Edmunds won’t let it ruin her life

PUBLISHED: 07:14 26 September 2017 | UPDATED: 08:51 26 September 2017

Glad Abbot pub on Glastonbury Road, Bury St Edmunds. Picture: GREGG BROWN

Glad Abbot pub on Glastonbury Road, Bury St Edmunds. Picture: GREGG BROWN

A woman who was temporarily blinded after two men threw a noxious liquid at her in a west Suffolk pub has described her attackers as “animals”.

Speaking anonymously to the BBC, the woman said Friday’s attack at the Glad Abbot pub in Bury St Edmunds, was not going to ruin her life.

“In my eyes, human beings don’t do that to people,” she said.

“But I’m not going to be a victim. I’m going to live my life. I’m not going to let them ruin my life.”

The woman, aged in her 30s, was treated at the scene by ambulance staff and taken to hospital for further assessment after temporarily losing the sight in one eye.

“It started to burn,” she told the BBC.

“I wasn’t expecting it and I didn’t really know what to do. I got grabbed by some lovely people and rushed to clear my face up.

“I rinsed it thoroughly but it didn’t stop the burning.

“I have no idea who it was meant for, it was just random. I was in the wrong place at the wrong time.”

The manager at the pub, in Glastonbury Road, told this newspaper yesterday that the woman had been “incredibly brave” after the attack.

The attack, which happened at around 11pm on Friday, saw two men, one wearing a hooded top and one wearing a baseball cap, enter the pub and throw a noxious substance from a bottle, which hit the woman’s face.

Police are trying to determine what the substance was.

The attack has been condemned by police figures and other victims who are calling for stronger regulations.

Adele Bellis, who lost an ear during an acid attack in Lowestoft in 2014, said more people would suffer unless action was taken.

“I’ve voiced my opinion as much as anyone but if there’s not going to be a change in regulations to stop people buying these liquids, or tougher sentencing to act as a deterrent, it’s just going to keep happening,” she said.

Suffolk’s police and crime commissioner Tim Passmore also called for tougher regulations.

“Fortunately these cases are quite rare in Suffolk, but there’s a worrying trend that’s starting to develop and we as a society need to be aware of that,” he added.

“These are cowardly, despicable and appalling crimes and I have nothing but contempt for anyone who does it. Acid attacks can maim and disfigure people and there’s never an excuse.”

Det Insp Andrew Smethurst said few incidents involving noxious substances had been reported to police in Suffolk.

However he added: “Crimes such as this, although rare, can have a dreadful impact on victims, We do not believe this to be a random attack, although we understand the victim was not the suspect’s target.”

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