BREAKING NEWS: Police investigating acid attack on Victoria's Secret
worker arrest man and woman on suspicion of causing grievous bodily
- A woman, 21, and man, 28, have been arrested after attack on Naomi Oni
- She suffered horrific burns to her face, arm, leg and head in the attack
- The 20-year-old claimed she was attacked by a woman in an Islamic niqab
- She was in hospital for almost a month following the incident in December
- She is understood to have searched for material on burns victim Katie Piper
- 'Saying that I’d done it made me so angry and really
hurts,' she said today
- Her boyfriend Ato Owede has dismissed the police's suspicions as 'crazy'
11:50 GMT, 25 February 2013
12:45 GMT, 25 February 2013
Police have arrested two people after a Victoria's Secret worker was left with horrific burns when acid was thrown in her face
21-year-old woman and a 28-year-old man were held on suspicion of
causing grievous bodily harm to Naomi Oni, 20, who was attacked in
Dagenham, Essex, on December 30.
Naomi spent a month in a
burns unit and has been left partially blinded from what she claimed was
an unprovoked assault by a woman wearing an Islamic niqab.
part-time model said she feared an unknown enemy was 'out to kill her'
and wanted to die when she first saw the way her face had been
The man and
woman arrested over the weekend have been released on bail, as it
emerged that police were also probing whether Miss Oni may have
inflicted the injuries on herself.
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Emotional: Naomi Oni, 20, pictured with This
Morning host Phillip Schofield earlier this month. A man and a woman
have been arrested on suspicion of GBH
Shocking: Naomi Oni was returning from a shift at Victoria's Secret in Stratford, when the attack happened
Speaking today she said she was 'hurt and angry' that she was being accused of attacking herself.
'I’ve only just come out of hospital after having surgery on my eye. To
see this story saying that I’d done it made me so angry and really
hurts,' she told the Evening Standard.
'There’s no way I would have done this to myself. I want the
person who did this to be caught.'
Yard today said they had tracked down some witnesses to the attack, but
there were others in the area that night that could also help.
would like to speak with a potential witness who got on the Route 368
Bus at Barking railway station and got off at Lodge Avenue at around
0045hrs on December 30,' a statement added.
'He is described as a black man,
around 20 to 30 years, 5'5" in height and of medium build, wearing a
black jacket and a black hooded top with blue jeans.'
Police said yesterday they were also investigating
whether the attack may have been self-inflicted after they seized her
computer and found she had searched websites about acid attacks before
she suffered her injuries.
She is believed to have researched
Katie Piper, a model who became famous for her bravery after she had
sulphuric acid thrown in her face by an ex-boyfriend in 2008.
Miss Oni said she is 'really upset'
about the allegation. Her family have accused the police of not doing
enough to catch the true perpetrator and wasting time by instead
focusing on a 'crazy' line of enquiry.
Miss Oni was severely scarred on
December 30 following a shift working at lingerie store Victoria's
Secret at the Westfield Shopping Centre in Stratford, East London.
Campaigner: Miss Oni is understood to have
researched high profile acid attack victim Katie Piper before she was
She said she was getting off a bus
close to her home in Dagenham, Essex, at around 12.40am when she noticed
a woman in traditional Muslim clothing, which covered all but her eyes,
'coldly' staring at her from behind.
She then felt something being thrown
at her, she added. 'Before I could feel it burning, I just knew it was
acid. I thought, OK, someone is out to kill me.'
Miss Oni suffered horrific burns to
her face, leg, arm and head. She lost her hair and eyelashes in the
incident and has undergone several operations since.
Doctors had initially feared that she
would be permanently blinded but following intensive treatment at a
specialist burns unit, she recovered sight in her left eye and partial
sight in her right eye.
Miss Oni's story was first reported earlier this month after she went public in a bid to help police find her attacker.
She made an emotional appearance on ITV's This Morning, for a reported fee of £3,000.
'I don't want people to see me in
public. I don't want to get the Tube or the bus. If I have to go to the
hospital, I take a taxi,' she said. 'I have no clue why someone would do
this to me.'
Her case attracted much sympathy and top American cosmetic surgeon Cap Lesesne offered to operate on her for free.
The incident has caused considerable
concern near her home and she and her mother have moved out temporarily
for fear of further attacks.
Far right groups, such as the English Defence League, have used the attack to criticise Muslims.
By the time she appeared on
television, police had reportedly sought to retrieve Miss Oni's laptop
computer, which was handed over by her disabled mother, Marian Yalekhue.
It is believed she had searched
websites relating to acid attacks and the story of Miss Piper, 29, who
campaigns for victims of facial disfigurement. The pair were due to meet after Miss Oni's public appeal.
Horrific injuries: Naomi Oni suffered burns to her face, head, arm and leg in an apparent attack in December
Officers have since questioned relatives about whether Miss Oni could have harmed herself.
Miss Oni said: 'The police haven't
been able to find anyone. They even asked my aunt if I had done it to
myself, which really upset me. Why would anyone do this to themselves?'
Friend Sheila Maclean said it was
'innocuous' that Miss Oni may have watched a Channel 4 documentary about
Miss Piper on her computer, adding that this would simply have been due
to an interest in make-up.
Miss Oni's boyfriend Ato Owede, 23,
said the police are 'concentrating on the wrong things' and 'are just
coming to a silly conclusion'.
Police have yet to establish what kind of chemical was used in the attack.
A spokesman for the Metropolitan police said officers 'continue to follow a number of lines of enquiry'
Officers are asking anyone else who may
have seen the victim in Lodge Avenue or seen anything suspicious around
the time of the attack to call Barking & Dagenham CID on 020 3276
1056. To remain anonymous call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.