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Mother splashed with acid at daughter’s grave ‘let down by police’ | UK News



The family of a woman splashed with acid as she sat at her daughter’s grave say police “let them down”.

Joanne Rand, 47, was injured when she was targeted with high-strength sulphuric acid in June 2017 during a fight between Xeneral Webster and a member of the public in High Wycombe.

The mother-of-three was treated in hospital and discharged but died just days later from multi-organ failure after contracting septicaemia.

Webster was jailed for 17 years but it has since emerged that he was the prime suspect in a separate attack four months before the Ms Rand incident.

It is alleged a Metropolitan Police detective failed to circulate CCTV images that, when released 20 months later, would see Webster identified as the prime suspect in that earlier attack.

In a statement, Ms Rand’s family said they were “deeply upset and disappointed” after learning about this.

“This was hard news to hear as we are all still struggling to cope with the loss of Jo.

“Had this acid attack in March 2017 been investigated properly at the time, Webster the alleged perpetrator would have been dealt with and may not have been free to carry out the horrific attack in June 2017 on Jo and she may still be with us.”

Xeneral Webster
Xeneral Webster was jailed for 17 years after the death of Ms Rand

The Independent Office for Police Conduct said it is looking into the conduct of the detective constable.

The officer is being investigated for gross misconduct for alleged breaches of professional standards relating to his duties and responsibilities, orders and instructions and discreditable conduct, but nothing of a criminal nature, they added.

Ms Rand’s family said they felt “let down” by the Metropolitan Police, adding: “We feel very concerned for the lady who was the victim of this (original) attack.

“We know some of what she may be going through as we saw all of the pain and suffering that Jo went through.”

IOPC regional director Jonathan Green said: “This investigation raises the very serious question about the way in which a Metropolitan Police Service officer may have handled a crucial piece of evidence which may have identified the suspect of an acid attack.

“Our investigation will be rigorous in challenging how this evidence relating to the circulation of CCTV images was handled and seek to uncover whether other victims of crime may have been impacted upon as a result of any shortfalls.”

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