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15 November 2018, 17:21
Two thugs have been jailed after a man in Southend had corrosive liquid thrown in his face.
Ashley Nelson, 31, of no fixed abode and Nathan Stanford, 27, of Carswell Gardens, Wickford, were sentenced at Basildon Crown Court today, November 15.
The 55-year-old victim was in bed at his flat in Lonsdale Road, Southend, when he heard a banging noise downstairs.
He went to investigate and saw a man walking up the stairs holding a drinks bottle and a stick. When he challenged him, the suspect squirted the contents of the bottle in his face. The victim punched him but was then hit in the face with the stick.
A second man then swung at him with a knife. The victim fought back and all three ended up falling down the stairs before the two attackers ran off.
The victim was taken to hospital and suffered chemical burns to his left eye. He now suffers with black dots in his vision. He also suffered a leg injury during the incident on February 2, 2017.
Tests were made on the drinks bottle and blood found at the scene tested. DNA on both matched Ashley Nelson. DNA on the bottle also matched Stanford.
The substance in the bottle was identified as ammonia.
Nelson was arrested in March this year and Stanford was arrested in April.
Both were charged with aggravated burglary and throwing a corrosive fluid with intent to burn, maim, disfigure, disable or do grievous bodily harm.
Nelson admitted the offences when he appeared at Basildon Crown court on October 2.
Stanford denied them but was convicted by a jury following a trial at the same court on October 8.
Today, November 15, Stanford was sentenced to 10 years for aggravated burglary and five years for throwing a corrosive fluid.
Nelson was sentenced to eight years for aggravated burglary and five years for throwing a corrosive fluid.
The sentences for each man will run concurrently.
Detective Constable Katie Londesborough, of Southend CID, said: “This was a horrific attack on a defenceless man, who was just trying to maintain the security of his home.
“His life will never be the same after this brutal assault, and I would like to praise his bravery and dignity in facing Nelson and Stanford in court.
“I hope today’s sentences goes to show that we will not tolerate violent crime in this county. We will find you and we will bring you to justice.”