herald

Monday 18 December 2017

'Love triangle' acid attack victim (32) has her sight saved

A pathway in Stillorgan close to where woman was attacked
A pathway in Stillorgan close to where woman was attacked

A woman who suffered horrific facial injuries in an acid attack was discharged from hospital yesterday.

However, the woman, who is Chinese, will still require "detailed outpatient treatment" in the coming weeks, according to senior sources.

The 32-year-old, who was attacked as she made her way home from working in a south Dublin pub on Friday night, was being comforted by pals at her home last night.

Brutal

"This woman is a long way from making a full recovery but she is in the first stages of rehabilitation. It is unlikely that she will lose her sight as was first feared," a source said.

Gardai have not made any arrests but are following a definite line of inquiry.

Officers are concerned about copy cat attacks as the brutal assault on the woman is the first case of such a crime happening in Ireland.

Yesterday, the Herald revealed that gardai believe the woman may have been targeted because of her possible involvement in a love triangle that went horribly wrong. A separate woman is being treated as a potential suspect in the case and may have "orchestrated" the revenge attack, according to gardai.

The attacker is believed to have stalked his victim before he approached her, pinned her down and poured the acid on her face in a laneway in Stillorgan.

Gardai are appealing for witnesses who saw anything suspicious in and around Rosemount Terrace, Fosterbrook, Merrion Woods and Seamount Apartments between 9.30pm and 10.30pm on Friday.

They are particularly anxious to hear from taxi drivers and delivery drivers who may have dash camera footage.

The victim was taken to St Vincent's University Hospital, from which she was discharged yesterday. She has also been seen by specialists at the Eye and Ear Hospital in Dublin.

While her injuries are described as "absolutely horrific", they are not life-threatening.

The woman, who has lived in Dublin for a number of years, has been able to help gardai with their detailed inquiries.

Sources said the situation is being taken so seriously that Blackrock Garda Station set up an incident room over the weekend and a number of detectives have been assigned exclusively to the case.

The use of acid attacks in muggings and personal conflicts is on the rise globally.

In London, between April 2014 and March 2015, there were 186 such attacks.

Model

In the same period in 2016 and 2017, that figure rose to 397. In one of the most high-profile attacks, model and television presenter Katie Piper had acid thrown on her in 2008.

Last month, Arthur Collins, an ex-boyfriend of The Only Way is Essex star Ferne McCann, was found guilty of an acid attack at a London nightclub. In April, club-goers were celebrating a bank holiday when Collins threw acid into the face of another man.

The substance also splashed onto other revellers who were in the club, including Australian model Isobella Fraser.

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