An elderly female Vietnamese shopkeeper in East London recently fell victim to a group of robbers who, after mercilessly spraying acid on her face, gave her a brutal beating as she lay defenseless on the ground.
According to court documents, 24-year-old Sadik Kamara also sprayed industrial-strength drain cleaner into the mouth of 51-year-old Quyen Bui when she attempted to scream for help during the attack on March 10.
In a recent hearing held at Wood Green Crown Court, it was revealed that the hazardous chemical caused the victim to incur major internal burns. She was also reportedly sprayed in her right eye when she reached for the alarm.
“The first man sprayed chemical in my face when he entered my shop,” Bui told the police. “I looked up, thought they were robbers and pressed the alarm button straight away. I then tried to escape and call for help. The first man kept spraying me.”
Bui, who has worked in her son’s mini-supermarket for 10 years, is now considering giving up her work due to her traumatizing experience, reports the Daily Mail. While she did not sustain serious injuries, her mouth was left with chemical burns.
The footage of the incident, taken from the security camera of the store in Hackney, East London, showed Bui struggling as her attackers manhandled her. The robbers were seen spraying her with chemicals at least four times.
Kamara and his 20-year-old accomplice, Joshua Jordan, fled shortly after the alarm was triggered without taking anything.
When Bui tried to leave the shop, two other accomplices attacked her before escaping in a getaway car.
“I pushed the first man and the second man out, lifted the (counter) gate and ran out, but a third and fourth man blocked me,” Bui said. “One of them punched my right shoulder. I fell down, then they kicked me hard.”
Just 10 minutes after the failed violent robbery attempt, Kamara and Jordan attacked and robbed another Vietnamese woman just over a mile away.
Their second victim, identified as Thi Le Nguyen, was also sprayed with the same bottle of drain cleaning chemical. The thugs took her Michael Kors handbag containing £575 ($763.92) in cash, her bank card, and mobile phones.
Nguyen, a beauty specialist, later found herself taken to the same hospital where Bui was being treated.
“They pressed my neck down into the ground and sprayed the chemical to my face. I was so scared. One of the two guys snatched my bag,” Nguyen said of the attack, which occurred after she got out of a taxi.
Kamara was soon arrested by authorities along with his accomplice after he called for an ambulance claiming he accidentally squirted acid in his eye while cleaning that night. The other accomplices were never caught.
While both defendants admitted to robbing Bui, only Kamara pleaded guilty to hurting Bui. Both denied attacking Nguyen.
“It was a vicious and cowardly attack to disable their victims. Consider the extreme pain, the fear, the horror these women must have experienced.”
He pointed out that it is not unlikely that the gang is specifically targeting female Vietnamese victims.
“Having fled the scene of the first robbery, the defendants and other gang members drove around like predators searching for their prey,” Maguire explained. “It may be no coincidence the victims of the attacks were Vietnamese women. One conclusion is that they were petite and easy to overpower.”