A SOUTHAMPTON woman blinded after a horrific acid attack is now living rough and begging on the streets to survive.
Months after having acid thrown over her face, Carla Whitlock has become homeless, pleading for money and food in shop doorways.
The 37-year-old from Southampton has said that she feels abandoned by police after coming out of protected accommodation.
But Hampshire police have said they have offered her help and will continue to offer her assistance.
Last year the mother-of-six was attacked outside of Turtle Bay restaurant and was left blind in one eye and partially sighted in the other.
But instead of recovering in the safety of her home, Carla has resorted to hiding in a tent pitched inside a Southampton multi-storey car park for the past six weeks.
Carla and her partner of five years Matthew Wedgner, 38 were moved to a protected property after police launched a hunt for her alleged attackers.
But after a month the couple, who had previously spent time living in hostels, left the protected accommodation to attend a series of hospital appointments for Carla's injuries in Southampton.
Since then she claims they have been homeless but police say they have continued to work with her.
She said: “It’s just horrible, I have had to cope and recover while being homeless, I have never felt so desperate.
"I just don’t know what to do anymore I feel like we are being held down and ignored, I blame the police for not keeping me safe.
"When we were first taken into protection, all the officers assured us that we had nothing to worry about, they would find us a flat and we would be looked after.
"But now it's just an endless cycle of suffering, we're constantly cold and wet forced into humiliating situations.
"People recognise me from appearing in the media after the attack so I can never escape what happened and I've had no time to actually process the fact that I'm blind. It's mortifying.
"I'm in contact with the police but they have only offered me accommodation without Matthew and I'm not going to leave him, he is the only person I feel safe around and I refuse to abandon him struggling on the streets while I'm safe somewhere.
"We've stayed with some friends and family but we can't expect them to keep supporting us and we're asking for help from the homeless teams but they are yet to find us a hostel, I find it hard to believe there is nowhere that we could both stay and at least have some warmth and cleanliness, it's a disgusting situation."
Carla has also said that because she has no home to go back to, she has been unable to book appointments for a selection of operations in hospital.
She is due to have a skin graft to help heal one of her eyes and further work done to the partially sighted eye in a bid to help restore some of her sight, but without a home to recover in she is not able to have the surgery.
Matthew added: "We love each other and have each other to stay safe, the police liaison officer has said that there could be somewhere just for Carla but that would leave me homeless and wouldn't resolve the problem, we're the only people making each other feel safe and I don't feel like we should have to give that up.
"This is no way to treat the victim of an alleged acid attack, she should be made to feel safe."
The couple have been referred to the Street Homeless Prevention Team, who have allegedly offered a £600 deposit for accommodation but the pair are struggling to find a landlord willing to help them.
But Hampshire police say that Carla has been given support and they will continue to offer her help.
A spokesperson said: "Hampshire Constabulary along with the Street Homeless Prevention Team, Southampton City Council and Portsmouth City Council have been working closely with Carla since her attack to find her safe and clean accommodation.
"We understand she has not accepted the last accommodation she has been offered. We will continue to work with her."
Southampton City Council were not able to provide a comment before the Daily Echo went to press.
In November last year Geoffrey Midmore, 26, admitted to the attack on Carla when he appeared at Southampton Crown Court.
His brother Billy, 22, has denied involvement in the incident and will stand trial next month.
That is scheduled for March 29 and planned to last ten days. Geoffrey is expected to be sentenced after the trial.