Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Four Years in Jail for Carrying Acid; Tough Sentences to Tackle Street Horror Attackers Will Get Life, Pledges CPS chiefexclusiveThugs Who Throw Acid Could Face Life Even If They Miss Their Target

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Four Years in Jail for Carrying Acid; Tough Sentences to Tackle Street Horror Attackers Will Get Life, Pledges CPS chiefexclusiveThugs Who Throw Acid Could Face Life Even If They Miss Their Target

Article excerpt

Byline: Martin Bentham Home Affairs Editor

THUGS who carry acid will face up to four years in prison -- and a life sentence if they use it in attacks, prosecutors said today.

The Crown Prosecution Service said it would seek to bring charges of possession of an offensive weapon against anyone caught with a corrosive substance who does not have justification. The crime carries a potential four-year jail term. Prosecutors will be told to bring tougher charges -- carrying a maximum life sentence -- against those who throw acid, even if no harm is caused to the intended victim.

Unveiling the crackdown today, Alison Saunders, the director of public prosecutions, told the Standard: "You can't just expect to carry acid around without an excuse. It counts as an offensive weapon just as much as a knife or a screwdriver could be."

Details were also released of the most recent acid conviction, in which a burglar admitted inflicting 24 per cent burns on a 69-year-old woman. The man sprayed corrosive liquid on her after breaking into her home in Ilford. He threatened a 90-year-old woman with acid during another break-in and will be sentenced at Wood Green crown court next month.

Ms Saunders said she was updating her guidance to prosecutors to ensure that the courts had the "widest possible sentencing power" to deal with acid offenders. She said: "We are very conscious of the impact of this crime and how there Continued on Page 4 Continued from Page 1 has been a recent spate of it, so we are very keen to make sure that we do prosecute it and the court has the right sentencing powers.

"We are recognising that there's been an increase in this type of crime, we are recognising the serious nature of it, the impact it can have on individuals who suffer from having corrosive fluids or acid sprayed at them, which can be life-changing. It's about making sure that we are prosecuting in a way that makes it clear there is a deterrent."

Ms Saunders said other charges that would be brought included inflicting grievous bodily harm with intent. It applies when serious injury is caused and carries a potential life sentence.

Offenders who miss their target or fail to inflict injury will risk an alternative charge of throwing acid or a similar corrosive substance with "intent to maim, disfigure or disable" a person. It too carries a maximum life sentence.

Ms Saunders said people such as cleaners who might have a genuine reason to possess acid would not be prosecuted if they could prove they were carrying the substance for legitimate purposes.

Other offences that today's guidance urges prosecutors to consider include the crimes of possession of an offensive weapon on school premises and threatening with an offensive weapon in a school or public place. All carry up to four years in prison. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.