Adele Bellis says tougher action is needed to stop 'cowardly and despicable' acid attacks in Suffolk
PUBLISHED: 14:34 26 September 2017
A Suffolk acid attack victim is demanding tighter regulations and tougher punishments after a woman was temporarily blinded when two men threw a "noxious substance" in her face.
The attack, which happened at The Glad Abbot pub in Glastonbury Road, Bury St Edmunds, left a woman in her 30s needing hospital treatment.
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.
Miss Bellis, 27, whose book Brave tells how she rebuilt her life following the attack by her ex-boyfriend, Anthony Riley, said it was “too easy” for people to get hold of dangerous chemicals.
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.”
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 victim’s face. She was treated at the scene by ambulance staff and taken to hospital for further assessment after temporarily losing the sight in one eye.
Police are trying to determine what the substance was.
Officers are also looking at possible connections with reports of a Ford Fiesta and Vauxhall Insignia driving dangerously on Out Risbygate and Newmarket Road, Bury St Edmunds.
Anyone with information should call police on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.