A man who sprayed liquid into the face of a passer-by warning him it was bleach was today (Friday) jailed at Lincoln Crown Court.
Moments earlier Daniel Clarke offered to fight his victim Vitalj Zajankovskij ,31, and then sprayed him twice with the liquid telling him it would blind him.
Phil Howes, prosecuting, said that the first time that Clarke sprayed the liquid it missed but then Clarke sprayed him again directing the liquid into his victim’s eyes and mouth.
Mr Zajankovskij immediately felt a burning sensation in his eyes and was scared he would lose his sight.
Following the attack in High Street, Boston, he managed to flag down a passing police patrol car and was taken to the Pilgrim Hospital where he underwent treatment over the following four days.
His eyes were flushed out on a number of occasions and he has been left with slight scarring of the right eye.
Mr Howes said “This was an unprovoked attack in the street where a liquid was sprayed into the eyes of a 31-year-old-man. The defendant was saying it was bleach leaving the injured man scared he would be blinded. “The liquid was tested. The reality is that we have no idea what it was. It certainly does not appear to have been bleach.”
Clarke was identified from CCTV footage because of the distinctive clothing he was wearing but when he was interviewed by police he denied he was responsible.
Mr Howes said that samples of the liquid were tested by forensic scientists but they were unable to identify the liquid although they confirmed it was not bleach and was not any corrosive acid.
The prosecutor added that the victim no longer feels safe living in Boston.
Clarke, 26, of Taverner Road, Boston, admitted assault occasioning actual bodily harm as a result of the incident on May 3 this year. He also admitted breach of a conditional discharge imposed for criminal damage. He was jailed for 12 months.
Recorder Paul Mann QC , passing sentence, told him “You made your victim fear that he may lose his sight. That is a terrible thing to do to any human being.
“This wasn’t an acid attack. It wasn’t acid, bleach of a corrosive substance. Nevertheless it has become fashionable for young people to use harmful substances as weapons and I am satisfied that the people of Boston should know that this is not a type of offence, bleach or no bleach, that is going to be acceptable to the courts.”
Alison Summers, in mitigation, said “To say this was an acid attack would be factually wrong. We simply don’t know what had been in the bottle.
“The scientific evidence excludes the most common type of bleach and the tests carried out exclude acids.”
She said that Clarke suffers from mental health problems but since his arrest has been taking steps to address his issues.