An innocent nurse died after being soaked with sulphuric acid when she became caught in the crossfire of dispute, a court heard.

Joanne Rand, 47, was sitting on a bench having visited her daughter's grave in Frogmoor, High Wycombe, when Xeneral Webster, 19, produced an opened bottle of sulphuric acid, the Daily Telegraph reports.

The substance, which was knocked over during a fight between Webster and two other male teenagers, spilled onto Rand's arm, feet and hair when the bottle was kicked in her direction.

The jury at Reading Crown Court heard the liquid immediately began to burn her skin and she ran into the nearby KFC to throw water on herself and call an ambulance.


She was taken to hospital after the acid had spread onto 5 per cent of her body and was treated before being allowed home to recover. However, one of the corrosive burns became infected and she was admitted back into a specialist burns hospital.

She deteriorated quickly and died of sepsis 11 days after initially being splashed.

Alison Hunter QC, prosecuting, told the court that Webster and an acquaintance were looking for a rival drug-dealer.

Webster was living in London and he had travelled by train from there, which is caught on CCTV from a number of sources. His movements can then be tracked around the centre of High Wycombe.

After Webster met with another male he is seen "fiddling with his satchel" before producing a bottle of acid to throw at their "rival", she said.

However, the male knocked the bottle out of Webster's hands and kicked it away, which resulted in it spilling onto Rand who was sat nearby.

"Joanne Rand was not the intended victim, but that makes no difference in the law because it arises in these circumstances where he intended to cause grievous bodily harm to another person," Hunter said.

The jury were also told how Webster had himself been a victim of an acid attack himself in London when a bottle of ammonia was thrown at him. The incident has left Webster with scarring to his face and hairline.


Webster faces a trial on a single count of murder, or in the alternative manslaughter, two counts of possessing an offensive weapon, causing GBH and robbery on June 3 last year.

He denies the charges. The trial continues.