Lancashire

Man who blinded police officer with ammonia jailed

Paul Elliot and Sgt Andrew Gore Image copyright Lancashire Constabulary
Image caption Paul Elliot, left, sprayed Sgt Andrew Gore, right, in the face with the corrosive substance

A serial violent offender who sprayed ammonia at a police officer leaving him partially blind has been jailed.

Sgt Andrew Gore was responding to a 999 call when he was doused in the face with the corrosive substance in Darwen, Lancashire, on 16 April‬.

Paul Elliot was jailed for 14 years and six months at Manchester Crown Court after admitting throwing the liquid.

Mr Justice William Davis told the 47-year-old he had been "utterly reckless with the man's life".

The court heard officers were responding to a call from a distressed woman in Ash Grove at 01:45 GMT.

Officers broke down a door but as they made their way upstairs Elliot squirted ammonia "indiscriminately".

In bodycam footage played in court, officers were heard retching and struggling to breath after Mr Gore "took the brunt of it to his face and his left eye".

Elliot fled by jumping out of a window, causing him to break his ankle, and was arrested in a nearby garden.

'Instant pain'

In a victim impact statement Mr Gore told how he immediately felt burning before he fell down the stairs.

"My mouth was on fire. It was instant pain. I've never felt anything like that before," he said.

He recalled "blanking out and fainting" before thinking "I'm going to die".

The court heard there is no guarantee his sight will be fully restored.

Elliot, who has 14 convictions for 40 offences including violence, burglary and robbery, has "shown some level of remorse" after pleading guilty, his defence counsel Mark Stuart said.

Elliot, of no fixed address, was also handed a four-year extended licence period after pleading guilty to section 18 assault and throwing a corrosive fluid with intent.

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