New information about Beckton acid attack as suspect spotted in Romford
- Credit: Archant
New images have been released of the suspect in the recent Beckton acid attack, and police believe he may have argued with one of the victims before throwing acid in his face.
The pictures show John Tomlin, 24, in a shop in Romford on Monday July 3 - more than two weeks after he is believed to have attacked Resham Kay, 21, and her cousin Jameel Muhktar, 37, as they sat in their car at traffic lights on Wednesday June 21.
Both have suffered life-changing burn injuries.
Police are warning the public not to approach Tomlin, who has distinctive tattoos on his face and his hand, and to instead call 999 if they see him.
Tomlin is a stocky, 6ft tall white man with short fair hair, and he is known to frequent the Canning Town area.
Acting Detective Superintendent Neil Matthews said: “This was a devastating attack using a corrosive substance and the victims will be forced to endure long and extensive treatment for their injuries.
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“Our primary objective remains to arrest the person responsible for the attack, and police continue to appeal to the public for their assistance.”
He added: “Police are also aware of an altercation immediately prior to the assault that may have involved the male victim and two men.
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“While this remains a hate crime inquiry, we are still examining a number of different strands regarding the motive.”
The case was not initially treated as a hate crime but concerns were raised when a Facebook post was found on Tomlin’s profile that read “A sleeping lion can only be provoked so much before it wakes up and attacks...and so will us British.”
A vigil was held for the victims at Stratford station on Wednesday, organised by Newham Stand Up To Racism.
Anyone with details of John Tomlin’s whereabouts is asked to contact police via 101, or via Twitter @MetCC. To give information anonymously call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 or visit crimestoppers-uk.org.