Acid attack survivor talks of the 'worst day of my life'

9 November 2019, 00:31

Teresa Townsley was attacked in her home as she opened the door
Teresa Townsley was attacked in her home as she opened the door. Picture: PA

By Kate Buck

The victim of a doorstep acid attack said she has been scarred for life and rarely steps out of the house as she appealed for information one year on.

Teresa Townsley, 38, had corrosive liquid thrown at her when she opened the door of her Edinburgh home to a hooded man on November 9 last year.

The mother told how burn injuries to her face and neck make it difficult to look in the mirror, and issued a plea for anyone with any knowledge of the crime to come forward.

The attack happened on Captains Road in the south east of the city at around 8.40pm.

Ms Townsley, who has since moved away from Edinburgh, said in a statement on the anniversary of the attack: "It was the worst day of my life and today is the second worst as it brings it all back.

"Fortunately I have a new partner who is being tremendously supportive and I have my kids to keep me going.

Her attacker has still not been caught
Her attacker has still not been caught. Picture: PA

"But, day to day it is still hard, it is hard just to go out of the house, to look in the mirror. Most of the time I am confined to the house.

"If anyone knows anything then they must come forward. I am scarred for life and coming forward with information could prevent someone else suffering as I have. It may even prevent someone losing their life."

The suspect is described as around 5ft 11in, slim, and in his early twenties.

He was wearing a dark tracksuit, a grey top with the hood pulled up, dark gloves, and trainers with light reflective sections.

His face was covered.

The suspect is thought to be in his early twenties
The suspect is thought to be in his early twenties. Picture: PA

The man left the scene in a stolen grey Ford Fiesta with false number plates showing the registration number BN65 LFV.

The car was seen at around 9.45pm travelling north in Drum Street with its lights off.

It then went down Gilmerton Road, into Glenallan Drive and was driven into Inch Park where it was set on fire.

Two men were seen to run off towards Glenallan Drive.

Detective Inspector Jonathan Pleasance said: "The attacker targeted Teresa at her front door while her young children were just a few feet away.

"This serious assault resulted in life-changing injuries and also shocked the local community.

"If you recognise the man described or saw the car, before or after the attack, please contact police immediately.

"I am confident that there are people in the Gilmerton area who have information that can assist the inquiry and I would urge them to come forward."

Anyone with information can contact Gayfield CID on 101, quoting incident 4125 of November 9 2018, or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.