London acid attacks: Victim too scared to return to work as food delivery driver

A food delivery rider doused with corrosive liquid during an acid attack spree is "too scared" to go back to work.

Jabed Hussain, 32, a rider for UberEATS, had his moped stolen when two suspects also riding a moped sprayed him with liquid in east London on Thursday night.

Two teenage boys, aged 15 and 16, remain in custody on suspicion of robbery and grievous bodily harm after a spate of assaults took place within a 90-minute period.

Five separate male victims were targeted by two moped-riding attackers in the north and east of the capital.

Mr Hussain was the victim of the night's first attack at around 10.25pm at traffic lights on Hackney Road on his way home from work.

"Suddenly I heard the sound of water," he told the Press Association, adding that he looked to his side and saw two boys on a bike next to him.

Mr Hussain said they tried to attack him for a second time, adding: "I left the bike. I just ran from the bike to the cars behind... I was just screaming because it's burning on my face, and I'm just screaming for the water."

He said he was knocking on the windows of the cars behind but nobody was opening their doors, and then the vehicles moved off when the traffic lights changed.

"I'm just running from here to there, I don't know what to do, where I'm going to get the water from," he said.

A woman who was passing by stopped to help and brought water to Mr Hussain.

He sent a group message to his fellow delivery riders who are in a union together, and he said about 100 of them arrived to help within minutes.

He was taken to an east London hospital, and his injuries are not being treated as life-changing.

But Mr Hussain said his burned lips are getting worse, and he is too frightened to go back to his job.

"I'm too scared to go back to work," he said.

"I'm really scared. I don't know what to do. My wife, she's scared. My family's scared. They were asking me to leave that job, but I love that job."

Mr Hussain said authorities need to stop the perpetrators "as soon as possible", adding: "I'm really scared... my colleagues are asking me 'Are you going to come back to work?' I said I don't know yet."

He said the union the riders are part of is holding a demonstration at Parliament on Tuesday.

"If we see the Government taking action, and if it's back to normal, I am happy to go back to work," he said, clarifying that "normal" is referring to a time when there were fewer crimes involving mopeds.

Two of the assaults saw mopeds stolen, while another victim had "life-changing" injuries inflicted after being sprayed.

Chief Inspector Ben Clark, from the Met's Hackney Borough, said all of the victims were riding mopeds.

The assaults were branded "horrific and senseless" by UberEATS, while Deliveroo called it "truly shocking".

Police said the 15-year-old was arrested at an address in Stoke Newington on Friday morning, while the 16-year-old was detained in the early hours of Friday in Kingsbury Road after he was identified near the scene of the offences by local authority CCTV operators.

The pair are in custody at a north London police station.

Met Commissioner Cressida Dick has revealed the Home Office is working with the force to see if a change in the law is needed.

Meanwhile, police were called at around 5pm on Friday to reports of an attempted robbery of a moped in Ballards Road, Dagenham.

The victim - a man aged in his 20s - was approached by two males on a moped who squirted what was described as a "noxious substance" at him.

The attacks came just days after John Tomlin, 25, appeared in court accused of throwing acid at aspiring model Resham Khan, 21 and her cousin Jameel Muhktar, 37.

They were left with life-changing injuries after the attack on Ms Khan's 21st birthday in Beckton, east London.


More in this Section

Further fatalities as more earthquakes hit Indonesian island

Greece completes three-year eurozone bailout programme

Hundreds of South Koreans to reunite with family in North after decades apart

More protection needed against other high risk HPV strains


More From The Irish Examiner