02:56PM, Thursday 28 March 2019
The victim of an acid attack has revealed how his life was changed by a man he considered a friend.
In July 2017, 23-year-old Joe Davies had a bottle of 94 per cent strength sulphuric acid drain cleaner thrown over him, causing him third and second-degree burns on his face, neck and torso.
Last week, on Wednesday, March 20, 45-year-old Roger Comer, of Myrtle Crescent in Slough, was jailed for nine years after he was convicted of one count of grievous bodily harm with intent.
Joe, who lives in Langley, had been friends with Comer for about two years, regularly spending time at Comer’s home in Myrtle Crescent and playing video games together.
To this day Joe is not sure why his friend attacked him.
According to Joe, on the day of the attack he had gone to visit Comer at his home but his friend was hostile towards him, opening the door brandishing a screwdriver. As Joe went to get on his bicycle to leave, Comer threw the contents of the bottle over him, causing him severe burns all over his body.
“It was just like someone threw petrol over me and lit it,” said Joe. “The pain was horrendous.”
“When he threw it over me immediately I was taking off all my clothes, I begged him to get me some water.
“He just stood there and stared at me. He watched me burn.”
Joe stumbled into the street, called himself an ambulance and tried to find help. One man who lived nearby brought out a hose pipe and began hosing Joe down. He was told later that the burns would have been far more severe if he hadn’t helped him.
He was also saved by the baseball cap he was wearing, which prevented acid from running down his face and into his eyes.
After months in and out of hospital, including a skin graft on his neck, Joe’s wounds have healed miraculously. Some scarring is visible on his neck and torso, but his face has healed almost perfectly.
When the attack happened, Joe was studying social work and social science at East Berkshire College in Langley. After the incident, he took a year out, but returned to college the following year and completed his course, earning an outstanding student award in the process.
Now he is in his first year at Buckinghamshire New University, in High Wycombe, reading social work. He aims to get into a career of social work, either in adults or children and families.
Despite the horrific ordeal that Joe went through, there have been some positives. Since the attack, his relationship with his biological mother, who he rarely contacted beforehand, has got much stronger. He also remains close with his foster mother.
Joe saved his highest praise for his brother, Lewis, who he called his ‘rock’ throughout the whole ordeal.
He said: “He’s supported me through everything, hospital appointments, keeping me in line, not only in life but in education.
“He’s kicked me up the bum and told me to keep going. He’s been my rock throughout.”
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