A woman has been left with a chemical burn on her face after being attacked with a corrosive substance in County Durham.

Local reports said the victim had gone into an alley because she heard the sound of a crying baby in the town of Newton Aycliffe when she encountered a gang of teenagers.

Durham Police said someone from the group of seven or eight girls and boys threw the liquid on her face before fleeing in the direction of the town centre at around 8.20pm on Monday.

The 21-year-old victim described the substance as being white and foam-like, and smelling of bleach. Inspector Sarah Honeyman, from Newton Aycliffe’s neighbourhood police team, said: “This was obviously a very concerning incident for the victim, which left her needing hospital treatment.

“At this moment in time we don’t know what the substance was, but officers are working to determine what it was that was thrown. We’d like to reassure people that we believe this to be an isolated incident and would appeal for anyone who has any information to come forward. These youths may well be talking about the incident, so we would also like to appeal to anyone who may have overheard them talking about it to get in touch.”

One of the girls in the group was wearing a black puffer jacket and blue jeans, police said.

The incident was the first reported corrosive substance attack in Durham since a spate of similar assaults elsewhere in the UK.

London has so far been the epicentre of the attacks, including five attacks that were launched in 90 minutes last month, and several that have left people with life-changing injuries. Continue reading.