Southampton Crown Court has heard the acid attack which took place in the city centre last September was revenge for a drug deal which went wrong.
Carla Whitlock has lost virtually all sight in one eye and will be left with permanent facial disfigurement as a result of the attack, which took place outside the Turtle Bay restaurant in Guildhall Square on September 18th last year.
It is claimed that Geoffery and Billy Midmore, who are suspected of having carried out the attack, wanted revenge against Ms Whitlock as they held her responsible for a drug deal which went wrong. Geoffery Midmore has already pleaded guilty to causing Greivous Bodily Harm with intent.
Opening the case, prosecutor Kerry Maylin told the court that the prosecution intended to prove the brothers had acted together. She described how the brothers had been walking across Guildhall Square together between 9 and 9.15pm on 18th September, while Ms Whitlock and her partner had been walking in the other direction. She added that the liquid was thrown as the two groups passed each other outside of the Turtle Bay restaurant.
The prosecution revealed that the liquid thrown at Ms Whitlock was a drain cleaner called ‘One Shot’, which is a commercially available concentrated form of sulphuric acid. She then told the jury how Ms Whitlock was a drug addict who had previously bought drugs from the Midmore brothers.
Ms Maylin told the jury:
Whatever happened after that introduction perhaps we will never know but that person introduced by Carla Whitlock to the Midmores did not go smoothly, something went wrong, maybe the new customer did not pay, perhaps he took the drugs, but did that act really require two days later the two Midmore brothers to act in concert by throwing acid over Carla Whitlock’s face.
These two brothers decided to exact revenge in a way that would permanently disfigure Carla Whitlock.
Evidence presented by the prosecution to the jury included threatening text messages sent to Carla Whitlock from Billy Midmore’s phone, one of which read: ‘you’re dead’. The jury was also told of how Geoffery Midmore had sented a picture of the substance used in the attack to a friend with the description: ‘that’s one face melter’.
Ms Maylin also told court how Carla Whitlock and her partner were too scared to go home on the day of the attack and had already spent most of the day in the city centre before the attack happened and only crossed paths with the Midmore brothers by ‘pure chance’ on their way home. She also explained how Ms Whitlock thought that the liquid thrown in her face was a drink until it started burning, and that emergency care was given by a doctor who happened to be in the area.
Ms Whitlock has since received specialist treatment including a membrane transplant in her right eye, however the jury was told that tests have indicated she can only see movement and is unlikely to recover any more of her sight.
Billy Midmore, who is 22 and has no fixed address, denies one count of causing grievous bodily harm with intent.