Anyone who carries acid could face up to four years in prison or risks a life sentence if they use it to attack someone, under tough new rules for prosecutors.
The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), against the backdrop of horrifying acid attacks, has issued updated interim guidance which for the first time explicitly refers to acid or corrosive substances.
Possession of an offensive weapon or threatening a person with an offensive weapon, which each come with a maximum four-year prison term, are among the “most appropriate” charges which can be brought.
he guidance explains that acid and corrosive substances such as bleach or ammonia may be used as a weapon. Victims of hate crime, so-called honour-based violence, domestic abuse and revenge attacks by gangs have all been targeted, according to the guidance.
It states: “Acid and corrosive substance attacks have a devastating effect on victims. And when thrown on to the victim’s body – usually their face – cause the skin and flesh to melt, sometimes exposing and dissolving the bones below.
“The long-term consequences of acid or corrosive substance attacks may include blindness, permanent scarring of the face and body, and social and psychological difficulties.