Hampshire & Isle of Wight

Carla Whitlock acid attack: Victim is 'still struggling'

Carla Whitlock
Image caption Carla Whitlock lost the sight in one eye after the concentrated sulphuric acid was thrown in her face

Carla Whitlock, who was blinded in one eye when acid was thrown in her face by a drug dealer, says she is "struggling to get through each day".

Billy Midmore has now been convicted while his brother Geoffrey had already admitted his part in the attack in Southampton, but 37-year-old Ms Whitlock, who has been homeless for a time following the incident, says she now faces a battle to get her life back on track.

"I used to be quite confident and happy," says Ms Whitlock, who has been told she will not regain the sight in her right eye and will need more skin grafts to her face.

"I see myself quite weak and vulnerable now. I suppose I used to feel like I was untouchable, whereas I'm quite nervous of everyone now.

"I used to get up every morning - do my hair, do my makeup, I'd never wear the same clothes two days in a row. I've no self respect anymore because of what I look like, I feel like there's no point."

The mother-of-six admits she does not really look at herself in the mirror anymore.

The roots of her misery lie in her descent into drug addiction which brought her into contact with the city's criminal underworld.

She had helped broker a deal between a Southampton dealer named in court as Levi and two brothers from London - Billy and Geoffrey Midmore.

Image copyright Hampshire Constabulary
Image caption A nationwide manhunt for Billy and Geoffrey Midmore was launched in the aftermath of the attack
Image caption Carla Whitlock lost the sight in one eye after the concentrated sulphuric acid was thrown in her face

However, the deal went wrong and the brothers - who said they were owed £2,000 - sent her threatening text messages. Her flat was also broken into.

Fearing for her safety, she decided to stay in public places, hoping this would prevent the brothers from attacking her.

However, they were undeterred. They tracked her down to Guildhall Square on 18 September last year where the prosecution said Geoffrey Midmore threw the acid in her face outside the busy Turtle Bay restaurant.

She said her face felt like it was "on fire". Staff from the restaurant administered first aid, pouring water on her wounds, until paramedics arrived.

In court, Billy Midmore admitted that Ms Whitlock was not to blame for the drug deal going wrong.

She now faces further skin graft surgery in an effort to repair the damage

"It won't get my sight back but it might make me look normal again, " she says.

"One minute everything was ok and the next minute I was right at the bottom," she adds.

"It's quite a sad life really - [wondering] where the next bit of money is coming from. It's not a nice life."

She admitted she had not told her family about her drug-use before the attack and is still trying to get off drugs.

"My family don't want me around my children. They're quite disgusted with me because of the drug involvement," she adds.

"I hope to get back to living a normal life, waking up each day with my children and not scared."

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