TWO teenagers have been sentenced after an unprovoked attack in which a noxious substance was thrown at four men.
The victims got on a train at Grays and were going to the intu Lakeside shopping centre to watch a film on the evening of Monday 25 February.
Callum Kitson and a 17-year-old boy got on the same train.
All six got off at Chafford Hundred train station at about 8pm and as the victims walked along a footbridge, they heard glass smashing behind them.
When they turned around to find out what had caused the noise, Kitson started shouting at them and goaded them to fight him.
The 18-year-old was armed with a knuckleduster and his accomplice had a bottle with a clear liquid inside.
The four men tried to walk away but the 17-year-old squirted the liquid at them, hitting three of them in their faces. It immediately caused a burning sensation to their eyes and skin.
The fourth man chased after Kitson and the boy, and was sprayed in the face with the liquid.
The attackers ran off and a member of the public alerted emergency services.
Police, fire and ambulance staff attended and the victims were decontaminated before being taken to hospital for further treatment. Two officers were also treated at the scene after coming into contact with the substance, which was believed to be a corrosive alkaline.
Fortunately none of them suffered lasting injuries.
Kitson and his accomplice were identified and later arrested.
The 17-year-old boy of no fixed address – who cannot be named for legal reasons – admitted four counts of administering a poison to endanger life or inflict grievous bodily harm at Basildon Crown Court on Thursday 23 May.
He appeared at the same court on Tuesday 9 July where he admitted four separate charges of possession with intent to supply heroin, crack cocaine, cocaine, and cannabis; two counts of being concerned in the supply of class A drugs, and one count of being concerned in the supply of class B drugs.
He had run off from officers in Grays Park on July 1, 2018 when they searched him under the Misuse of Drugs Act. His bag contained 17 wraps of heroin and crack cocaine, 12 bags and two wraps of cannabis, and two bags of cocaine.
He was sentenced to a total of three years and 11 months in a young offender institution today, Tuesday 6 August. He was also ordered to pay £547.47 in compensation. The drugs were seized and will be destroyed.
Kitson, of Charles Street, Grays, admitted possession of an offensive weapon and affray at Basildon Crown Court on Thursday 2 May.
He was sentenced today to a two-year community order. He must attend an accredited programme for 30 days, complete 30 days of rehabilitation activity and 50 hours of unpaid work.
Investigating officer PC Ed Gosling, of Grays CID, said: “This was a completely unprovoked and cowardly attack.
“Kitson and the teenager reacted violently, just because the victims had turned around when they heard a glass bottle being dropped and smashed.
“The victims did not know them and had tried to walk away from a confrontation.
“Fortunately incidents such are these are rare but it doesn’t take away from the fact this was frightening and needless.
“By pleading guilty, the two defendants have at least spared their victims the further ordeal of having to give evidence in court.
“I hope today’s sentence gives them and the community some reassurance.”