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Acid attack victim: It’s destroyed my life

December 8, 2017

Jameel Muhktar, 37, says he is still in “severe pain” nearly six months after a corrosive liquid was thrown at him and has suffered a nervous breakdown.

He was left with serious burns to his head and body and is now deaf in one ear following the attack in Beckton, east London on 21 June.

His cousin, Resham Khan, was also injured in the assault, which happened as the pair travelled in a car after celebrating her 21st birthday.

Jameel Muhktar was badly injured in an acid attack
Image:Jameel Muhktar was badly injured in an acid attack

Mr Muhktar told Sky News: “I feel like it’s destroyed my life.

“I’m still in severe pain. I can’t move my head left to right. I’m deaf in one ear. I can hardly walk. I’ve had all sorts of skin grafts.

“I’ve still got another operation to go through yet and more skin grafts.

“I ended up living in a bedsit on my own and I just couldn’t cope. I ended up having a breakdown.”

Jameel Mukhtar, who was badly injured in an acid attack
Image:Mr Muhktar says he is yet to have counselling

Mr Muhktar said he was discharged from hospital four or five weeks after the attack, which he believes was too early.

“I don’t think they (the NHS) understand about these attacks,” he said.

“I don’t think they’re prepared for it.

“I’d like to get counselling. I like someone to help with my creams. I’d like someone to visit me to make sure I’m cooking and eating right and coping because I’m in a lot of pain.”

John Tomlin, 25, of Canning Town, east London, has pleaded guilty to causing grievous bodily harm with intent and is due to be sentenced at Snaresbrook Crown Court on 26 January.

Police release image of London acid attack suspect
Image:John Tomlin is awaiting sentence for carrying out the attack

A court heard Tomlin threw a corrosive substance from a bottle at Mr Muhktar and Ms Khan through the car’s open windows.

Mr Muhktar was temporary blinded but kept driving to flee Tomlin’s attack before eventually mounting a pavement and crashing a short distance away.

“I was burning, screaming, shouting, kicking on doors, screaming for water. It was a nightmare,” Mr Mukhtar said.

His injuries were so severe that he was placed in an induced coma in hospital.

Jameel Mukhtar, who was badly injured in an acid attack
Image:The attack left Mr Muhktar scarred on his neck

The corrosive substance melted both victims’ skin and clothes, as well as the car’s seats and dashboard, Scotland Yard said.

Police revealed this week the UK has one of the worst levels of recorded acid attacks in the world, with new figures suggesting there are now more than 800 reported incidents a year.

Home Secretary Amber Rudd has proposed banning the sale of acids to under-18s and new laws to make it an offence to possess a corrosive substance in public without “good reason”.

Jaf Shah, executive director at the Acid Survivors Trust International, told Sky News: “Beyond the physical pain and disabling injuries, survivors of acid attacks suffer PTSD, depression and social isolation.

“As a consequence the path to recovery is long and complex, therefore it is essential that survivors are able to access high quality on-going mental health and psychosocial support to rebuild their lives.”

The NHS says victims of acid attacks can ask to be referred to a hospital mental health liaison team for support and treatment.

Support groups such as Changing Faces and the Katie Piper Foundation also provide help to victims and their families, it said.