Ammonia bottles found in room of Northampton man on trial for town centre splash attack, court hears
A 26-year-old Northampton man has denied any involvement in splashing four people with ammonia in a town centre attack last year.
Taishon Whittaker, from Ecton, denies taking part in a "gang-related" attack outside the McDonald's in The Drapery in July 2017.
But at the second day of his trial at Northampton Crown Court yesterday (January 10), a jury heard how Whittaker had looked up ammonia products on his phone 10 separate times.
Police also found two large bottles of ammonia cleaning products in an attic above his room just two days after the attack.
In a police interview, Whittaker said he had not been in the attic since he was seven years old and denied putting the bottles there.
The bottles could not be tested for fingerprints as they leaked while in care of the police and could not be handled "for health and safety reasons", the court heard.
Police also could not clarify to the court if the bottles were open or full when found. They also did not check the attic entrance for fingerprints.
At around 4.30am on July 23, members of the public were splashed with ammonia in what police believe was incident between two county gangs.
The court heard on Monday (January 8) how two police officers were also splashed in the face, who described the events as "chaos", the BBC reported.
A Lucozade bottle found in the street after the attack containing ammonia could not be tested for fingerprints by police.
In his police interview, read out in court by prosecutor James Keely, Whittaker claims he pulled up to McDonald's in his car and went in to buy food for his girlfriend when he was attacked.
Whittaker said: "There was a lot of shouting and stuff. Next thing I knew there's spray water in my face. I thought it was water.
"Then, my nose was burning, my face was burning, my eyes were burning.
"I went into McDonald's to get some water, and the police and the bouncer were helping me get water. The staff gave me a crate of water and told me to use it all."
The trial continues.