Woman threw liquid in shopworker's face and told her it was 'acid'

Wigan and Leigh Courthouse, where the hearing took place
Wigan and Leigh Courthouse, where the hearing took place

A thug has been jailed for throwing a substance her victim feared was acid in her face.

Heron Foods worker Paula Hughes needed hospital treatment after Lisa Lock doused her with an “alkaline-based” liquid after being ejected from the Atherton store. The attack caused the victim enough pain to warrant a trip to A&E.

Lock, 41, of Carlyle Grove in Leigh, appeared via video before Wigan justices to admit to one count of assault by beating.

The court heard Ms Hughes had spotted Lock walking around the shop eating a sandwich she had not paid for. When asked to stop, Lock became abusive and another member of staff.

She was ejected but left behind several belongings identifying her, including a diary bearing her name and address. Outside shortly afterward, Lock pulled out a bottle of liquid and threw it in Ms Hughes’s face, saying “have that...acid” as she did so.

She went home,, but visited A&E when her face began to sting heavily. Doctors had to wash her eyes out with saline solution due to their high pH level.

Prosecuting, Tess Kenyon told the bench that Ms Hughes said the incident “has brought me to tears constantly” and made her feel weak. The shirt she had been wearing was sent for analysis, with forensics determining the substance thrown was an “alkali-based liquid.” The concoction was actually a mixture of cola and cider, defence solicitor Graham Simpson revealed.

“That’s what she had been drinking at the time, and she was in drink, there’s no doubt about it,” he said.

The bench chair told Lock: “This was an assault on a shop worker, in which you threw an unknown substance in her face. It was a despicable act.”

Lock was sentenced to 16 weeks’ custody and ordered to pay £150 compensation.