Worcester acid attack toddler’s dad among five men arrested over chilling incident as it’s claimed boy’s mum was the real target

THE dad of a three-year-old boy sprayed with acid was among five men being questioned today over the horrific attack, sources have claimed.

The child suffered burns after he was doused with a noxious pink chemical in his pushchair while shopping with his mum and older brother and sister at a discount store.

PA:Press Association

A child suffered serious burns after being doused with a noxious pink chemical while shopping with his family in Worcester[/caption]

He was treated in hospital for burns to his face and arm after the incident at the Home Bargains outlet in Worcester on Saturday afternoon.

His father, believed to be a 39-year-old Afghan asylum seeker, was apparently arrested in Wolverhampton 30 miles away on Sunday.

Three other men – believed to be Eastern Europeans – were picked up the following day at an address in Walthamstow East London.

A fifth man, believed to be a relative of the dad,was arrested in Wolverhampton today.

PA:Press Association

Police believe the toddler’s mum may have been the real target[/caption]

SWNS:South West News Service

Police said a ‘pink chemical’ had been thrown into the boy’s face as his mum pushed his pram[/caption]

Nick Obank – The Sun

Three men were arrested at a property in Walthamstow, East London, with another two men arrested in Wolverhampton[/caption]

Nick Obank – The Sun

The five men were arrested on suspicion of of conspiracy to commit grievous bodily harm[/caption]

All five suspects were being questioned over a plot to inflict grievous bodily harm.

A source close to the investigation said the boy’s mum had split from his father after the husband complained she had become “too westernised”.

They had met and married after arriving in the UK over ten years ago.

She had complained there were problems with the marriage and had been moved to an address in Worcester with the kids 30 miles away.

It’s believed the father discovered the whereabouts of his estranged wife when a photo appeared in a local newspaper in Worcester showing one of their children at a school event.

It is alleged that the gang bungled the attack and the tot got splashed with the noxious substance instead.

The source said: “When they lived together in Wolverhampton she wore a full veil.

“But as she continued to live in the country she became more and more westernised and started wearing different clothing that didn’t cover her face.

“There were apparently issues between them.

SWNS:South West News Service

Police were seen scouring the busy retail park for evidence as witnesses recalled their horror of the attack[/caption]

Police had released CCTV footage of inside the discount store showing three suspects

“They married in Britain after coming here as asylum seekers, I think it was an arranged marriage.

“She is quite an attractive lady.”

Last night police were probing reports that the acid gang may have followed the mum from her home to the shops in a dark coloured Vauxhall Vectra that was seen in her street on Saturday.

She had taken the three-year-old and her others kids to the shops in her Suzuki jeep car.

SWNS:South West News Service

The aisle in the shop where the attack took place – Home Bargains has since reopened for business[/caption]

Neighbours Kathleen Bullock-Powell 75, and Jack Bullock-Powell, 86, have lived on the road for fifty years said families usually stayed in the house for 12 months and then moved out.

Kathleen said: “The woman involved was a lovely lady, she was in her late 30s, 39 or 40 and moved from Afghanistan about ten years ago, the kids are wonderful, they are brilliant.

“The neighbour said she saw a Vauxhall Vectra parked outside her house in the hours before the attack that was suspicious, but we never saw it.

“She did not mix with neighbours, she was very quiet but she was friendly to us and would wave when she saw us.

“She talked about going to the Job Centre sometimes, I don’t think she was in work.

“She spoke really good English and was studying maths at college.

“I do not know how they found her, it’s very strange, when she moved here she asked if there were any other Afghan families but there aren’t.

“She seemed very happy, she would drop the kids off at school every day and pick the kids up and do the shopping.”

“She was a lovely lady, the kids were wonderful, brilliant, they liked to play on their iPod

Jack said: “When the boy came out of hospital they came out and went someone else I don’t know.”

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