Acid Attacker Admits Oxfordshire Prison Assault

22 February 2019, 16:08 | Updated: 22 February 2019, 16:11

Xeneral Webster High Wycombe acid attack

The man who committed the first acid attack killing in the UK may be charged with a similar assault that took place three months earlier, a court has heard.

Xeneral Webster, 20, is serving a 17-year-sentence for the manslaughter of carer Joanne Rand, who died from an infection as a result of her burns.

Her family said she might still be alive if police had not let him slip through the net for the earlier acid attack in a cinema in north London.

But a decision is now being considered on whether to charge him over that attack, it emerged in court on Friday, when he pleaded guilty to hurling urine at a prison officer and assaulting another woman.

Webster was jailed in July after pleading guilty to the manslaughter of mother-of-three Ms Rand in Frogmoor, High Wycombe.

A high-strength sulphuric acid was knocked from Webster's hand by another male who he was trying to get a bicycle from, it was alleged.

The liquid hit the 47-year-old as she was sitting on a bench after visiting her daughter's grave in June 2017.

Ms Rand died in hospital from multiple organ failure after contracting septicaemia due to the burns.

It later emerged that Webster was the prime suspect in another acid attack on a woman in a Vue cinema in north London on March 8 2017 - three months before the attack on Ms Rand.

A Metropolitan Police detective constable allegedly failed to circulate CCTV images that, when released 20 months later, would go on to identify the suspect as Webster.

Ms Rand's family previously told the Press Association: "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 3 2017 on Jo and she may still be with us."

Webster, from Westbourne Park, west London, appeared at Oxford Crown Court on Friday to plead guilty to throwing urine at prison officer Yvette Wright and assault by beating of colleague Zena Rose by spitting at her.

The incident took place in Bullingdon prison in Oxfordshire on July 22 as he was awaiting sentencing for manslaughter.

Prosecutor Lesley Bates asked the judge at Oxford Crown Court on Friday to adjourn sentencing over that matter to wait for the charging decisions on the earlier acid attack as well as for Webster allegedly stamping on another guard's head.

"There are two matters which are due to be charged although no charging decision has formally been made yet," she added.

Judge Peter Ross adjourned sentencing over the charges of assault by beating and administering a poison or noxious substance with intent, over the urine offence.

Webster, who appeared via videolink under the name Xeneral Imiuru, will return to the court on March 22.

The police watchdog, the Independent Office for Police Conduct, is continuing its investigation into the constable's conduct over the CCTV.