Hastings acid attacker jailed for life

David Phillips has pleaded guilty to the acid attack Picture courtesy of SWNS.com
David Phillips has pleaded guilty to the acid attack Picture courtesy of SWNS.com

A man who carried out an acid attack on the wrong victim leaving the father-of-one permanently scarred was jailed for life on Friday (October 9).

David Phillips flung the corrosive material in the face of property developer Andreas Christopheros, 29, who suffered a permanent loss of vision and horrific burns.

Phillips, 48, attacked Mr Christopheros on his own doorstep in Truro, Cornwall, after travelling more than 300 miles from his own home in Barley Lane, Hastings.

However, he carried out his ‘revenge attack’ at the wrong address and Mr Christopheros was completely innocent of any wrongdoing.

Prosecuting, Phillip Lee said the attack was so severe the victim was not expected to survive.

“He could not see. He froze and then cried for help,” he said.

“He soon realised it was some form of acid.

“Mr Christopheros is still baffled by the attack and had no idea why he was targeted.”

In a victim impact statement Mr Christopheros said: “This will forever effect my life and my family are scared to open the door again.

“The pain I endured was excruciating.

“I did not think I would survive.

“When I left hospital I did not think my son would recognise me.

“I am concerned as my sight deteriorates I will never see my son grow up.

“I will never be able to work in business again. I am anxious of being seen in public and perceived as some sort of freak.

“I am frightened about the effect my appearance will have on my son who is just two years old.

“I am constantly afraid of being attacked again.

“I understand I will carry the scars for the rest of my life but they are not just physical, but emotional too.

“My life is now forever about pain, overwhelming sadness and uncertainty.”

Sentencing, Phillips judge Simon Carr said: “On December 9, 2014, Mr Christopheros was 29 years old and working in his home.

“His wife and 18-month-old child were in the house .

“He heard a knock on the door and went to investigate.

“You were standing there some sort of container.

“The only words he can remember is you saying ‘this is for you’.

“You threw concentrated sulphuric acid in his face.

“The victim has suffered full thickness burns to his arms, face and torso.

“He is permanently and significantly scarred in addition to damage to his eyesight.

“I have read his moving personal statement. His son regularly does not recognise him.

“He was an entirely innocent victim of mistaken ID. I have heard your motive but none of that can justify your culpability.

“I have heard many positive character references on your behalf. However, this was extremely carefully planned and executed.

“The time of you coming into possession of information that troubled you and attack was three months.

“This was not someone acting in the spur of the moment. You also drove a considerable distance to carry it out.

“The effect of your actions has been life-changing.

“In my mind you have shown little remorse but overwhelming concern for your own predicament.

“I sentence you to life imprisonment with a minimum term of seven years and 67 days.

“You will only be released when a parole board considers it safe for you to be.”

Defending Mohammed Bashir said: “He is a man who has shown an extensive amount of remorse and wants to formally write to the victim to explain what happened and he did what he did.

“He is totally sorry and knows he made the wrong decision.”

Mr Christopheros was in court to see Phillips jailed following a guilty plea at an earlier hearing.

Phillips was sent to prison for life with a minimum of seven years at Truro Crown Court for causing grievous bodily harm with intent.

Hastings man pleads guilty to acid attack

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