'Face Melter' Acid Attack Was Revenge For £2K Drug Deal That Went Wrong, Court Told

'B**** you dead over chump change'

A mother of six was blinded in one eye after having a "face melter" acid thrown at her out of revenge for a drug deal that went wrong, a court has heard.

Carla Whitlock, 37, was attacked with a drain cleaner containing highly concentrated sulphuric acid which scarred her face and burnt her eyelids as she was walking in Southampton city centre with her partner Matthew Wedgner on September 18 last year.

Billy Midmore, 22, is on trial at Southampton Crown Court accused of causing grievous bodily harm with intent, which he denies. His brother Geoffrey Midmore, 26, has previously pleaded guilty to the same charge.

Billy Midmore is on trial at Southampton Crown Court (above) accused of throwing acid at a woman's face
Billy Midmore is on trial at Southampton Crown Court (above) accused of throwing acid at a woman's face
Chris Ison/PA Archive

Kerry Maylin, prosecuting, told the court that the brothers had together purchased the high-strength drain cleaner for the attack on Whitlock outside the Turtle Bay restaurant.

She said Whitlock was assaulted by having the liquid thrown in her face.

"She is scarred, her eyelids were burnt, as were her face and other parts of her body, " Maylin said.

She added: "It landed on her face and shoulders, she got some on her hands because her immediate reaction when her face was burning was to put her hands up.

"Her initial thought before all the burning was that it was just a drink but it wasn't, it was sulphuric acid."

Maylin said the brothers then ran off leaving Whitlock "screaming in pain".

Whitlock's injuries would have been worse if a doctor had not been passing by and had known to put water on the acid to lessen the impact, the prosecutor said.

Maylin said that the One Shot drain cleaner used had the highest concentration of sulphuric acid - 89% to 93% - which can be sold to the public and was a product recommended by plumbers.

She said that Geoffrey Midmore had sent a photograph of the bottle on WhatsApp to an acquaintance with the words: "This is one face melter."

Maylin said: "One Shot is all it takes to clear your drain and One Shot is all it takes to cause a serious injury to Carla Whitlock."

Maylin said that the defendant might not have thrown the acid, which was sprayed from a bottle of Magnum tonic wine, but had helped plan the attack with his brother.

She said: "They were brothers in name and they were brothers in actions as well in the days before and the days after."

Maylin said the attack had been out of revenge after Whitlock had introduced a man called Levi to the Midmore brothers and a deal with him worth £2,000 had gone wrong.

“One Shot is all it takes to clear your drain and one shot is all it takes to cause a serious injury to Carla Whitlock"”

She explained that Whitlock and her partner were drug users and had recently purchased drugs from the Midmore brothers, who are of no fixed address but originally from London.

Maylin said: "Whatever happened after that introduction perhaps we will never know but that person introduced by Carla Whitlock to the Midmores did not go smoothly, something went wrong, maybe the new customer did not pay, perhaps he took the drugs, but did that act really require two days later the two Midmore brothers to act in concert by throwing acid over Carla Whitlock's face.

"Because that drug deal went wrong, these two brothers decided to enact their revenge by permanently scarring Whitlock."

Maylin said that prior to the attack, the defendant had sent a text message to Whitlock saying "Bitch you dead over chump change", which she said was a threat over the stolen money.

She said a second message was sent by Midmore offering drugs as a reward for helping them find the man called Levi.

Maylin said that the brothers were seen on CCTV later that evening as they took a train to stay at a friend's house in Basingstoke.

She said: "They weren't sorry, they were jubilant, they were high five-ing, they were fist-bumping, they were laughing."

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