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Woman who had acid thrown in her face by ‘envious’ friend speaks out

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Acid attack victim, 25, speaks out for first time at 'betrayal' by best friend
Naomi Oni was on her way home from work when she was attacked (Picture: REX/Shutterstock)

A woman who was scarred for life after having acid thrown at her face by her best friend has spoken for the first time of her ordeal.

Naomi Oni, 25, was nearly blinded when she was ambushed by Mary Konye, who had disguised herself by wearing an Islamic niqab and followed her home.

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The retail assistant had to have facial reconstruction surgery twice. Skin from her thighs was used to rebuild her face, and skin from behind her ears was used to create new eyelids.

Konye was eventually jailed for 12 years for the attack, which happened in Stratford, east London back in December 2012.

Acid attack victim, 25, speaks out for first time at 'betrayal' by best friend
Naomi, pictured left before she had acid thrown in her face, needed facial reconstruction surgery twice (Picture: REX/Shutterstock)
Acid attack victim, 25, speaks out for first time at 'betrayal' by best friend
Naomi suffered serious burns to her face and chest, and lost her hair and eyelashes (Picture: REX/Shutterstock)

Now, some five years on Naomi has found the courage to recall the trauma and how it changed her life forever.

‘I thought she was my friend and I couldn’t understand why she did what she did. To be betrayed – for someone to lead you to your own destruction – I was heartbroken,’ she told new BBC3 documentary Acid Attack: My Story.

Konye even sent childhood pal Naomi sympathetic messages days after the attack as police hunted the perpetrator.

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Speaking of the harrowing attack, she said: ‘I looked to the side of me and I remember seeing someone in just black and the person’s face being covered.

‘There was a very cold stare and I remember thinking, “Whoah, OK, just cross the road and go to your house”.

Acid attack victim, 25, speaks out for first time at 'betrayal' by best friend
Naomi wept as she spoke of her violent ambush (Picture: Ken McKay/REX/Shutterstock)
Acid attack victim, 25, speaks out for first time at 'betrayal' by best friend
Mary Konye was convicted of the attack and sent to prison for 12 years (Picture: REX/Shutterstock)

‘Before I knew it I felt a huge splash and I immediately screamed.

‘I was running down my road. I remember banging on the door, screaming “It’s burning, it’s burning, acid, acid, acid.”

‘I thought my skin was dissolving like I was going to – I don’t know – just corrode away.’

Acid Attack: My Story is available to watch on BBC iPlayer from 10.30pm on Thursday.

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