Acid victim 'sickened' as attacker moves to open prison less than six years later

·3-min read

A man who had a pint of sulphuric acid thrown in his face has told Sky News he is "sickened" after learning his attacker has been moved to an open prison - less than six years after the assault took place.

Andreas Christopheros was left blind in one eye and is scarred for life following the attack at his home in Truro, Cornwall, in December 2014.

David Phillips had driven 300 miles from Sussex to carry out a revenge attack against someone he believed had assaulted a member of his family - but it was a case of mistaken identity.

Phillips was given a life sentence with a minimum term of eight years in October 2015 - but the life sentence was quashed a year later.

Judges instead imposed a 16-year sentence and said he would be eligible for parole after he had served eight.

Mr Christopheros told Sky News he feels let down by the UK justice system after learning that Phillips has been moved to an open prison and is applying for day release.

"Sickened is probably the correct term," he said.

"It became very obvious that in the UK, you can throw a pint of sulphuric acid in someone's face, ruin their life, cost them physically, emotionally, mentally, cost the state hundreds of thousands if not millions in hospital fees and police investigation, and only spend five and a half years behind actual bars. It just doesn't add up.

"How can [Phillips] be out? Yes he's at an open prison, but he can go out and enjoy the sunshine, go out and spend time with his family.

"He can even go out and get a job and start working again, when I'm still picking up the pieces of what he did to me."

Describing the attack on him, Mr Christopheros said he was working from home when he heard a knock at his door.

After opening the door, a pint of concentrated sulphuric acid was thrown at his face, with his attacker heard saying: "This is for you mate".

Mr Christopheros said: "He was stood two steps down from my doorstep so he threw it in an upright motion so the acid came up, hit the ceiling above me, raining down my back.

"My t-shirt disintegrated from top to bottom and was just hanging on my arms like a waistcoat. That was the moment I knew it was acid."

Mr Christopheros said "every aspect" of his life has been affected by the attack.

"There isn't one aspect that hasn't been affected, even sleeping," he added.

"I'm not the person I was before the attack.

"In a way the old me died when [Phillips] did what he did to me, and I've had to reinvent myself into something that worked for my injuries.

"I can't play with my sons in the way that I want to. I can't play sports anymore.

"I'd like to make the most of life even if I am disabled in the way I am because of what David Phillips did to me.

"I still pick myself up and carry on doing what I can do.

"It's not what I want to be doing, but it's something. So life is good... it's the best it can be, in a bad situation."

A Ministry of Justice spokesperson said: "Acid attacks devastate lives and leave victims with both emotional and physical scars and our thoughts remain with Mr Christopheros.

"Since this appalling case, we have made it an offence to carry these substances in public, banned their sale to under-18s, and brought in minimum custodial sentences to ensure the cowards who use acids as weapons face the full force of the law."