Acid attack victim Naomi Oni accuses police of 'incompetence'
- 24 March 2014
- From the section UK
A woman left scarred by an acid attack has accused Scotland Yard of incompetence, saying police initially claimed she had done it to herself.
Naomi Oni suffered severe burns when Mary Konye, who has since been jailed for 12 years, threw acid in her face.
She told BBC's Today programme police had been slow to act on information she gave them about the 2012 attack.
The Metropolitan Police said they had considered all lines of enquiry in the early stages of their investigation.
Speaking to Today's Mishal Husain, 22-year-old Ms Oni said it almost felt like she had "been accused of lying" after her then-friend attacked her in Dagenham, east London.
She said police had been incompetent "to kind of accuse me of doing it to myself, when I've said somebody has followed me from my workplace to my home".
'Nobody has answers'
Ms Oni added: "When I was in court and I saw the CCTV footage, I just looked at it and I thought: 'Well, you can blatantly see that what I said is what happened, so where did that decision come from?'"
Konye, also 22, of Canning Town, east London, allegedly attacked Ms Oni because she had called her ugly.
CCTV footage showed her wearing a veil and secretly following Ms Oni home from her job at a Victoria's Secret shop in December 2012.
Initially, police did not act on what Ms Oni had told them about the circumstances, she has alleged.
"I even got told that they watched the CCTV footage and they saw no-one following me," she 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."
It was argued in court that Ms Oni was trying to find fame and fortune following a similar incident in which model and TV presenter Katie Piper was partially blinded.
But she told the BBC the reason she looked up the case on the internet was that she had seen a documentary on Miss Piper and found it "a moving and touching story".
'Jealous and obsessed'
She broke down in tears as she described her attacker as an "evil person", and recalled how Konye had been "jealous and obsessed" and had bullied her.
The two had been in contact before the attack and Konye even called her victim while she was in hospital, Ms Oni said.
She "couldn't eat for days" after being told who had attacked her, she added .
"I didn't want to believe it, it didn't make sense", she said.
Ms Oni needed skin grafts and has suffered permanent scars to her leg, chest, stomach and arms and was almost blinded in one eye.
She has to wear a face mask and faces further reconstructive surgery.
She said she had been left feeling "isolated" and "alone" since the attack.
"My life isn't so normal at the moment," she added.
The Metropolitan Police said in a statement: "All lines of enquiry were considered in the early stages of the 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.
"They carried out numerous actions including door-to-door enquiries, leaflet drops, searches, interviews and forensic analyses.
"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."