Edinburgh acid attack: politicians urged to press on with new law

Local tv images of Teresa McCann who has been left scarred for life after an orange substance was doused on her face and body. with acid by a man wearing a balaclava. 'Pic: STV News/Universal News And Sport (Scotland)
Local tv images of Teresa McCann who has been left scarred for life after an orange substance was doused on her face and body. with acid by a man wearing a balaclava. 'Pic: STV News/Universal News And Sport (Scotland)
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Politicians have been urged to speed-up in introducing a new law banning people from carrying acid and other corrosive substances in public.

The UK government’s Offensive Weapons Bill has stalled as a result of objections by Tory backbenchers over a clause banning high-powered rifles.

SNP Justice Secretary Humza Yousaf intends to extend the new law north of the border once it has been passed at Westminster. Online retailers would be banned from selling blades to juveniles. Meanwhile carrying corrosive liquids and the possession of knuckle dusters, ‘death stars’ and other weapons will also be outlawed.

It comes after Edinburgh mum Teresa McCann feared for her life after an acid attack in the city last week. The 37-year-old has lost part of her ear and will require surgery following the attack on her Gracemount doorstep at about 8.40pm on Friday.

“My face was literally melting – the pain was indescribable,” she told STV News.

“I really did think I was going to die. There’s no motive as to why someone has done this.

“Even if I don’t get scarred for life, I’ll always be scarred for life in the brain as I’ll always get flashbacks to what that man’s done.”

An online fundraising page has been set up with campaigners hoping to raise £20,000 to “help rebuild this lady’s life”.

Mr Yousaf has written to Home Secretary Sajid Javid to express concerns about the delays.

He added: “It is critical that you are able to reassure me and the Scottish Parliament that this Bill is still on track and will be returned to the House of Commons very shortly.”

A Scottish Government spokesperson said: “We’re seeking Parliament’s approval for new strict controls to apply in Scotland that would see corrosives categorised as an offensive weapon, like knives, to make our communities safer and assist the police in dealing with anyone who seeks to use them against other people.

“The UK-wide Offensive Weapons Bill, crafted between the UK Government and the Scottish Government, will create a ban on the sale of certain corrosives to under 18s and criminalise the possession of corrosives in public.”

A Home Office spokesman said the government was “committed to re-scheduling the remaining parliamentary stages as soon as possible.”

People can donate to the Go Fund Me page at www.gofundme.com/treasa-mccann-acid-burn-victim