Boyfriend angry at lingerie worker girlfriend remaining friends with Dagenham acid attack accused despite previous threats, court hears

Naomi Oni after having new eyebrows created

Naomi Oni after having new eyebrows created - Credit: Archant

The boyfriend of a lingerie shop worker told jurors he was angry his girlfriend was still friends with someone who had threatened to throw acid over her six months before she was left disfigured by an alleged attack.

Law student Ato Owede claimed then girlfriend Naomi Oni had told him of the threat made by Mary Konye, 21, but said he had not thought to tell police about it.

The University of Sussex student was on the phone to Ms Oni when she was allegedly doused in concentrated sulphuric acid by Konye as she walked home from work along Lodge Avenue, Dagenham.

Mr Owede said childhood friends Ms Oni, also 21, and Konye had a falling out over a previous boyfriend that lasted a number of months.

“She said when they became friends again she [Mary] told her that when they fell out she was thinking of doing that [throwing acid] to her,” he said.


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“I was very angry and upset with her. I said to her ‘Why are you still friends with someone like that’.”

Under questioning from defence counsellor Sally O’Neill Mr Owede said he had advised Ms Oni to “wipe” her laptop before police took it because it might contain “X-rated videos” on it.

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Mr Owede said they were talking about their New Year’s Eve on the phone as Ms Oni travelled home from her work at Victoria’s Secret in Westfield Stratford City prior to the alleged attack on December 30, 2012.

“The conversation continued until I heard her scream. At first I wasn’t sure if it was her. I thought it was someone else,” he said.

“The screams were so sharp and they were really violent. I wasn’t aware it was her until she started screeching my name.”

Mr Owede told jurors he then took a taxi from Brighton, where he was a student at the University of Sussex, to London to be with Ms Oni.

Konye, of Throckmorton Road, Canning Town, denies the charge of applying corrosive fluid with intent to disfigure, maim or cause grievous bodily harm.

The trial continues.

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