East London acid attack suspect John Tomlin hands himself into police

John Tomlin, 24 has been arrested on suspicion of attacking Resham Khan with acid
John Tomlin, 24 has been arrested on suspicion of attacking Resham Khan with acid

A man has been arrested following an acid attack in east London that left a student and her cousin with “life-changing” injuries.

A corrosive substance was squirted through a car window at Resham Khan and Jameel Mukhtar, 37, as they celebrated Ms Khan’s 21st birthday.

John Tomlin, 24, the chief suspect in the case, handed himself into police on Sunday, two and half weeks after the attack in Beckton on 21 June.

He has been arrested on suspicion of grievous bodily harm with intent, the Metropolitan Police said.

Resham Khan was celebrating her 21st birthday when she suffered life-changing injuries
Resham Khan was celebrating her 21st birthday when she suffered life-changing injuries

Ms Khan, a student at Manchester Metropolitan University, and Mr Mukhtar suffered severe burns to the face and body in the attack.

The pair had stopped at traffic lights when a man approached them and threw the toxic substance at Ms Khan through the window.

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The attacker then threw more of the acid at Mr Mukhtar before fleeing the scene.

Speaking to ITV News, the business management student, who had recently returned from an exchange year in Cyprus, told of the “excruciating” pain she felt.

“I was struggling to close the window,” she said. “My cousin struggled to get us away. I saw my clothes burn away in front of me. He put his foot down as we were coming onto a dual carriage way but the pain took over and we crashed.

Ms Khan and her cousin Jameel Mukhtar, 37, hours before the attack
Ms Khan and her cousin Jameel Mukhtar, 37, hours before the attack

“We stripped off in the middle of the road, running around screaming and begging for water. We did this for 45 minutes. No ambulance came,” she added.

Writing on social media, Miss Khan said she and her cousin had gone for a drive in the morning, “blasting music and chilling like cousins do”.

She suffered damage to her left eye, burns across her arms, face, legs and shoulder. She underwent a skin graft.

Her cousin, who also underwent a skin graft and was put in an induced coma, suffered first degree burns across his arms, legs, back, neck and face, as well as damage to his right eye.

In an emotional interview with Channel 4, Mr Mukhtar, 37, said he initially thought the attacker was playing a “practical joke” when he knocked on the car window.

“He just squirted this clear liquid over us, which I thought was water until my cousin started to scream.

“I was watching her burning. Next thing I know, I’m burning, my seat’s burning, my trainers are burning, her skin’s peeling… within seconds,” he said.

A friend has set up a GoFundMe page to help cover the cost of treatment. At the time of writing, £55,261 has been raised.

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