Daughter of mum killed in acid attack reveals pain she won’t be at her wedding
The daughter of a woman who died 11 days after being splashed with acid has told of her pain knowing her mum "will never be at my wedding".
Joanne Rand, 47, was sitting on a bench after visiting her daughter’s grave in High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire, on June 3 last year when she suffered fatal injuries.
Xeneral Webster, 19, was arguing with another man nearby when he took a bottle of acid from his bag. It was knocked out of Webster’s hand and splashed Ms Rand from head to toe.
Today he was jailed for 17 years after innocent mum Joanne died in agony.
The mother-of-three, who worked as a carer with dementia patients, died from multi-organ failure after contracting septicaemia due to the acid burns.
Her daughter, Katie Pitwell, 18, gave an emotional statement outside court in which she told of how she will have to go through life without her mum.
She said: "With gang and drug crimes becoming so widespread and so common it is proven now that people do die from acid attacks.
"This will never bring my mum back; I have to live with the fact that she’ll never be at my wedding or see my progress through life."
Joanne’s sister Lynn Ryan added: "We can’t bring Jo back but are glad he has admitted responsibility."
Katie has also called for tougher sentences for acid attackers.
"I think the buying of acid needs to be restricted, but also, if someone is carrying it, there should be tougher sentences because most of the time they do intend to use it for harm," she said.
Webster, who admitted manslaughter while on trial for murder, had himself been a victim of an acid attack only months earlier, so was aware of the dangers.
"He knew how much it could hurt someone and yet he used the stronger acid anyway to hurt someone else," said Miss Pitwell, from High Wycombe.
"He went out with the intention of hurting someone and it’s an innocent person that got hurt in this situation.
"People need to know that, if they’re carrying that type of stuff, it’s going to hurt someone or kill someone."
Miss Pitwell joined two of her mother’s sisters, Lynn Ryan, 54, from Lincolnshire, and Jacqueline Joiner, 61, from Worcestershire, to speak out about the dangers of using acid as a weapon.
They described Ms Rand as "very bubbly and fun" and "outgoing" and said she "really cared about the residents she looked after".
Miss Pitwell said she did not realise how badly her mother had been injured.
The family also faced Webster in court where Ms Rand’s sister, Jacqueline Joiner , gave an emotional victim impact statement.
She said: "How will we ever get through this nightmare?
“We never thought that anything like this would happen to our family and we would be arranging the funeral of our baby sister.”
Reading Crown Court heard how she’ll never forget the look in Ms Rand’s eyes when she asked her: "Am I going to die?"
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Ms Joiner later added: "All her organs were failing due to the sepsis . We watched the life drain out of Jo… the pain hits you with an almighty blow as you realise what has happened.”
She told how Ms Rand’s two children were forced to stand by and watch as their mother died.
Ms Rand’s daughter Katie said she didn’t just lose a mum, she lost a best friend.
A court heard how she didn’t understand how someone could do something so "evil" and "heartless."
Katie had to leave college as she couldn’t cope with her mum’s death, Sky News reports.
In court today, Katie addressed Webster, telling him he was the one that took her mother away.
The court also heard how Ms Rand’s partner Eddie feels lost without her.
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