John Tomlin: London man melted victims' skin with acid attack

John Tomlin pleaded guilty to the horrific attack

Monday, November 27, 2017

A man who inflicted what police described as "horrific burns" on two people after throwing acid at them has pleaded guilty.

John Tomlin, 25 and of Canning Town, pleaded guilty today (November 27) at Snaresbrook Crown Court to two offences of grievous bodily harm (GBH) with intent.

The court heard that on Wednesday, June at 09:13am, Tomlin had got into an argument with a 27-year-old man.

The argument had started on the footway and when the man returned to his car, Tomlin approached and threw a corrosive substance at the man through the car's open passenger window.

In the passenger seat of the car was a 21-year-old woman and the majority of the liquid hit her.

The woman began screaming and the man tried to drive away, but was blocked by parked vehicles.

As he tried to pull out into the road Tomlin ran around the car and then threw more of the corrosive substance through the driver's window onto the driver.

Tomlin continued to run alongside the car in an attempt to continue to attack and only stopped when the car outpaced him.

The driver was temporary blinded by the liquid, but kept driving to flee Tomlin's attack - eventually the car mounted a pavement and crashed a short distance away.

The substance, which was thrown from a bottle, was so strong that it melted the victims' skin and clothes where it struck.

A subsequent examination of the car revealed that the powerful corrosive had melted through the car's seats and dashboard.

A member of the public coming upon the crash took both victims to an east London hospital in his car.

Both victims suffered extensive burns to their faces and bodies and have required plastic surgery; they are still being treated for their injuries.

An immediate investigation began by detectives from Newham borough and Tomlin was quickly indentified as a suspect.

A manhunt began to find him and on Sunday, July 9, Tomlin handed himself into an east London police station and was arrested on suspicion of GBH with intent.

He later told officers that he had been living rough in Epping Forest to avoid arrest.

The next day Tomlin was charged with two counts of causing GBH with intent.

He will be sentenced at Snaresbrook Crown Court on Friday, 26 January 2018.

Detective Sergeant Dion Brown form Newham CID, said: "This was a vicious attack, which has left two victims with substantial injuries that will stay with them for life. Both victims still require treatment for the burns they suffered that day and my thoughts are with them as they continue their recovery.

"Although the bottle Tomlin used to carry the substance was never found, testing on some of the liquid recovered from the crime scene showed it was a strong acid, equivalent to hydrochloric acid.

"I am glad Tomlin as accepted his responsibility for the attack and spared his victims having to relive that terrible ordeal at court. Acid attacks can inflict terrible, disfiguring injuries and cause excruciating pain. Those who cause such injuries can expect severe consequences when they are brought to justice."