Man left blind, badly disfigured after girlfriend pours half a litre of acid on him while he was sleeping
31-year-old Daniel Rotariu is suing the Leicestershire Police on claims they were aware his girlfriend was planning to carry out the attack and did not take any action
An acid attack victim who was left blinded and badly disfigured after his then-girlfriend poured half a litre of 96% pure sulphuric acid on him while he was sleeping is now suing the police claiming they could have prevented the attack.
31-year-old Daniel Rotariu is filing a lawsuit against the Leicestershire Police claiming they were aware Katie Leong was planning to carry out the July 2016 attack but didn't intervene or do anything to stop her.
Leong schemed with former boyfriend Mark Cummings to murder Rotariu. She poured the acid on Rotariu for six seconds, leaving him in a coma and fighting for his life for six weeks. Furthermore, he had to spend the next six months at the hospital and was left blind, and with severe burns and facial disfigurement.
The severity of the attack also means, two years on, Rotariu still has to visit the hospital on a weekly basis for treatment. Though Leong was convicted of attempted murder and sentenced to a minimum of 17 years in jail, Cummings, who had purchased the acid for her, was acquitted by the Leicester Crown Court in 2017.
The 31-year-old victim says he is now suing to hold the police force to account for their inaction.
According to The Guardian, the claim that the police knew about the attack beforehand is backed by a report by police watchdog Independent Office of Police Conduct (IOPC), which stated officers and staff had received information that Leong was "acquiring acid to carry out a premeditated attack on an unnamed third party." The investigation also found that Leong was not contacted about the allegation.
It was Cummings who had reportedly told his probation officer that Leong wanted to buy acid and planned to use it on someone. He is also said to have told a medical professional that he bought the acid for Leong. Then, in February 2016, he told an alcohol nurse that she wanted him to buy her acid and that she had talked of throwing acid in someone's face.
The probation officer and medical professional both passed the information on to police, with the former even phoning the authorities to tell them the acid had been ordered and that it was "a recipe for disaster." While there was no mention of Rotariu as the target, he says police had information from two credible sources that Leong was acquiring the means to kill someone and fantasizing about using it, but took no action.
Speaking about the development, he said, "The police deny they had any legal obligation to protect me or any other potential victims of Katie’s madness. They received information that Katie was acquiring acid, but they just closed the file and did nothing," adding, the police "have a duty of prevention, protection and to investigate."
"I’m living in a prison of darkness," he continued. "It took away my independence, my ability to work. It took away my sight. I will never see my fiancee and my baby’s face. I will never be able to walk freely. I will always depend on somebody. More than two years after the attack, I’m still on the hospital corridors every week."
Leicestershire Police acknowledged they were are of the proceedings but declined to comment further. A statement by the police read, "We are aware of legal proceedings taken by Daniel Rotariu against the force. Due to the ongoing nature of this, we cannot comment further at this stage."