- Title: Acid attack victim calls for tougher sentences in Britain
- Date: 3rd August 2017
- Summary: (SOUNDBITE) (English) ACID ATTACK SURVIVOR, ANDREAS CHRISTOPHEROS, SAYING: "Given how readily available corrosive substances are in our daily lives, anyone can get their hands on them. Not every person in the UK can get a gun. The majority of people can't. For that reason I strongly believe that the sentencing for anyone who carries out any form of acid attack, whether their intended victim is injured badly or not, anyone who carries out an acid attack should serve a life sentence, with a minimum term of 20 plus years."
- Embargoed: 17th August 2017 18:03
- Keywords: Increasing numbers of acid attacks calls for stronger sentences UK corrosive substances controls and regulation survivor calls for harsher tougher penalty
- Location: TRURO, ENGLAND, UK
- City: TRURO, ENGLAND, UK
- Country: United Kingdom
- Reuters ID: LVA0036SLOSP3
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Andreas Christopheros, 32, struggles for a half hour when he wakes up each morning to gain enough vision before he can start his day, yet considers himself fortunate to still have sight in one eye.
It is just of the several constant reminders of an acid attack in 2014 at his home in the Cornish town of Truro, where he still lives in the same house with his wife and four-year-old son.
"Knock on the door, went and opened it as I would normally expecting it to be yet another courier delivering yet another parcel prior to Christmas and instantly received a beaker of sulphuric acid to the face without this guy checking who I was without any...the only thing he said was 'this is for you mate'," Christopheros told Reuters.
Christopheros was rushed to the hospital and was kept on "death watch" for weeks because of the risk of infection.
Ninety-percent of his face has been reconstructed using skin from other parts of his body in more than ten operations.
He has lost his eyelids three times as the scarring on his face contracts, making sleep a constant struggle.
David Phillips admitted driving 300 miles in five hours to attack the man he believed had sexually assaulted a member of his family but arrived at the wrong house.
He was initially sentenced to life with a minimum term of eight years, later reduced on appeal to 16 years, with a possibility of parole after eight.
Now, Christopheros and other survivors of acid attacks in Britain are calling on the government to enforce harsher penalties and tighten controls around the sale of corrosive substances in the United Kingdom.
Crimes using corrosive substances in London nearly doubled in 2016 to 431, compared to 261 in 2015, Metropolitan Police numbers show.
In the last 12 months, police have recorded 446 attacks in London alone.
Acid attacks in England have also doubled over the past five years, with 503 attacks recorded so far in 2017, according to numbers given to the BBC through a Freedom of Information request.
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