A 19-year-old has been handed a lengthy prison sentence for accidentally killing a woman with acid in the town of High Wycombe, situated in close proximity to London.
The defendant, Xeneral Webster, was sentenced to 17 years imprisonment after pleading guilty to manslaughter charges at Reading Crown Court.
Webster threatened a man with a bottle of acid, and the corrosive substance was accidentally thrown at a woman sitting on a nearby bench.
The woman, Joanne Rand, suffered burns from the substance, which was later identified as sulfuric acid, and was rushed to a local hospital for treatment. She was eventually discharged from hospital, but died 11 days later from multiple organ failure as a result of sepsis, caused by the acid attack.
“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,” Judge Angela Morris said while sentencing Mr. Webster.
In addition to the manslaughter charges, Webster was sentenced for two counts of possessing an offensive weapon, which included a samurai sword, plus an array of other offenses to which he pleaded guilty to at a previous trial.
Commenting on the incident and the wider issue of assailants weaponizing acids and other corrosive substances in Britain, Adrian Foster of the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) said preparators would be brought to justice.
“The consequences of Webster’s actions serve as a tragic example. I hope his conviction and subsequent sentence will serve as a reminder that the full extent of the law will be used robustly against those who use acid as a weapon intending to maim, disfigure or cause the death of a victim.”