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As cops search for acid attacker doctors say: Grandma may lose her sight

Wednesday, September 24, 2014
Larry Thomas, son of Linda Thomas, who was allegedly doused with acid by a relative after an argument at her Fyzabad home on Monday night, chats with the T&T Guardian yesterday. PHOTO: KRISTIAN DE SILVA

Fyzabad mother Linda Thomas will have to live with facial scars for the rest of her life after a male relative doused her with acid on Monday night. The attack came as Thomas was preparing dinner for the man, who, her family members said yesterday, had tormented her for decades. By midday yesterday, relatives were told there was a slim chance of Thomas ever seeing again as the acid had damaged her eyes and scarred her face.

Police said Thomas and the 64-year-old man, a construction worker, were at John Jules Trace around 6.45 pm on Monday when they started arguing. During the argument, the man picked up a container of muriatic acid and threw it on her. With her grandchildren watching in horror as she screamed in pain, the man ran out of the house. Up to yesterday Fyzabad police were searching the area and relatives’ homes for him.

Her sons—Kevin Charles and Larry Thomas—heard their mother’s cry and called a friend, who then took her to the Siparia District Health Facility. She was then transferred to the San Fernando General Hospital where she remained warded up to last night. An initial medical report stated that her eyes were blood red, her lips swollen and there were abrasions to her eyebrows.

After police arrived at the home, WPC Vincent found the plastic bottle containing the remainder of the muriatic acid, also known as hydrochloric acid. It is commonly used in leather processing, household cleaning, dissolving rock in oil production and the pickling of steel.

History of violence
At the family’s home yesterday, Larry Thomas said no one could explain what caused the man to become so violent, although he had been known to have a violent temper.  He said his brothers would often try to counsel him on his temper but no one ever thought it would reach that far. Thomas added: “Yesterday they were quarreling during the day and the police came.

“They sorted it out and left but then he took it to a next level. He left to walk out the road and when he came back, he passed through the back of the house and went upstairs where she was relaxing and threw some kind of acid on her. “She was in the living room with her grandchildren and she was organising food to cook when he came and threw it on her.”

Thomas said he found it strange that when the man left home he handed him a receipt, asking him to pick-up a television that was just purchased. He believes the man left home after the argument to purchase the acid at a nearby hardware with the intention of maiming his mother. “He doesn’t drink, he is just a hyper fellah and when he can’t get his own way, he gets on. 

“I don’t know what to make out of this. We used to sit him down and talk to him, tell him to leave the argument but he always fought and quarreled over nothing. “He never listened to what people were telling him, he continued carrying on, now look at where it has reached,” Thomas said.


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