Teenager jailed for 17 years for fatal acid attack on nurse

Tuesday, July 31, 2018

A teenager has been jailed for 17 years for the first acid killing in the UK.

Xeneral Webster, 19, pleaded guilty to the manslaughter of Joanne Rand part way through his trial in April at Reading Crown Court.

He had armed himself with a corrosive substance, which was knocked from his hand by another male from whom he was trying to get a bicycle, the court heard.

Ms Rand, a 47-year-old carer for dementia patients, was hit with the high-strength sulphuric acid on June 3 last year in Frogmoor, High Wycombe, after visiting her daughter's grave.

The court heard she screamed in pain and ran to a nearby branch of KFC to splash water over herself.

She was treated and briefly released from hospital after suffering up to 5% burns on her body.

But the mother-of-three died 11 days later from multiple organ failure after contracting septicaemia due to the burns.

Webster, of Banstead Court, Westway, west London, also pleaded guilty to possessing an offensive weapon, namely acid, and affray, the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) said.

Sentencing him Judge Angela Morris said: "You and your actions bear the responsibility for her (Ms Rand's) tragic demise."

Referring to his carrying of a corrosive substance on April 19 2017, she added: "The fact remains, you had this substance with you in a public place and you cannot have failed to realise the significant harm its contents would have caused to others had it been released.

"Because it is a liquid it is all the more likely to be indiscriminate in its spread."

Judge Morris said she had concluded that Webster posed a risk to the public and as well as 17 years in custody gave him an extended licence period of three years.

Talking about Ms Rand she continued: "The cost of your actions were incalculable and irreparable for her family and friends and there is no sentence which this court can pass which can replace the value of her life."

Webster was also sentenced for two counts of possessing an offensive weapon, namely a samurai sword and ammonia, and criminal damage, and making threats to kill relating to a separate incident to which he pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing.