Cornwall

Acid attack man jailed for Andreas Christopheros' injuries

David Phillips Image copyright Devon and Cornwall Police
Image caption David Phillips admitted carrying out the attack in December 2014

A man has been given a life sentence for critically injuring a businessman in an acid attack.

Andreas Christopheros, 29, was left blind in one eye after David Phillips, 49, from Hastings, Sussex, assaulted him at his home in Truro, Cornwall.

Phillips admitted assault causing grievous bodily harm with intent and will serve a minimum of seven years.

He wrongly believed Mr Christopheros had sexually assaulted someone close to him, Truro Crown Court heard.

Prosecuting, Phillip Lee said the victim, a married father of one, had been a victim of mistaken identity and suffered "excruciating, inexplicable" pain after the attack on the doorstep of his house in Truro on 9 December.

Mr Christopheros who runs the Run to the Sun event in Newquay, was at his home with his wife and 18-month-old son when he opened the door to Phillips who said "This is for you" before throwing concentrated sulphuric acid over him.

The acid was so strong the victim's T-shirt "disintegrated immediately" and damaged the house floor and hallway. His wife also suffered burns to her feet as she came to her husband's aid.

Image caption Andreas Christopherous arrived at court wearing a silicone mask and sun glasses covering his facial burns
Image copyright Handout
Image caption Mr Christopheros, pictured before the attack, said he fears he will never run businesses again

Mr Christopheros wore a silicone mask in court as the jury heard he had suffered "torturous surgery" and was left "mutilated and maimed".

He described how his son no longer recognised him and is now frightened by his appearance.

He will be disfigured and partially sighted for life and lives "in constant pain and fear" and "anxiety of being perceived as some kind of freak", he added.

Phillips, of Barley Lane, Hastings, had previously admitted assault causing grievous bodily harm with intent.

Judge Simon Carr QC told him he deserved being handed "a sentence of last resort" as it had been a "carefully planned assault" and he had "shown little remorse."

As Phillips was led out of the dock, he looked his victim and said: "I am very sorry."

Supt Dave Thorne, the senior investigating officer, said: "This is an extremely tragic set of circumstances which has led to life-changing injuries to a completely innocent man."

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