Acid attack victim calls for tougher sentencesA father whose face was destroyed in a horrific acid attack has called for tougher sentences for those who use corrosive substance as weapons.Andreas Christopheros, from Truro, was assaulted at his home in 2014 by David Phillips, a man he had never seen before, in what is believed to have been a case of mistaken identity.After pleading guilty, Phillips was initially handed a life sentence - but that was cut on appeal to a 16-year term, with a possibility of parole after eight.Ahead of a planned review of the laws on acid attacks, Mr Christopheros said: '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, should serve a life sentence, with a minimum term of 20 or more years.'Acid was thrown in Mr Christopheros's face after he answered his door in December 2014, thinking it was a courier bringing Christmas presents.Instead, Phillips threw a beaker of sulphuric acid in his face, saying: 'This is for you, mate.''My t-shirt disintegrated from top to bottom, it just rolled away into nothing. The pain was inexplicable,' said Mr Christopheros, who still lives in the same house with his wife and four-year-old son.He was rushed to hospital on the night of the attack and doctors told his wife he may not live through the night. He said he was on 'death watch' for weeks because of the risk of infection.In the wake of a spate of acid attacks in London, the Home Office has said it plans to set out guidance for prosecutors on classifying corrosive substances as dangerous weapons and to review sentencing guidelines.Crime Minister Sarah Newton said: 'Key actions will include a review of the Poisons Act to assess whether it should cover more acids and harmful substances and further work with retailers to agree measures to restrict the sales of acids and other corrosive substances.'But Mr Christopheros said he believes the government's strategy is 'completely wrong'.He said: 'A litre would be enough to destroy a dozen people's lives, maybe more. Anyone can buy that.'Jaf Shah, executive director of London-based non-profit Acid Survivors Trust International, described a 'loophole' in the law whereby people possessing acid would not be charged but those carrying a gun or a knife could.'There just aren't appropriate levels of controls around acid,' Shah said. 'If you are caught with acid, police have to prove intent, which is very difficult.'
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