Essex

Couple guilty of road rage acid attack

24/03/2016

Ashley Russell and Christina Storey have been convicted today at Basildon Crown Court of throwing acid in a manís face during a road rage attack in Thundersley, Essex, in June 2014.

Senior District Crown Prosecutor for CPS East of England, Punam Malhan said: "The victim in this case, Darren Pidgeon, suffered third degree burns to the right side of his face, shoulder, forearm and wrist - around 5% of his total body surface area.

"This was an horrendous attack, leaving Mr Pidgeon with injuries which required skin grafts and he will be left with lifelong scarring.

"The prosecution case was that the attack happened after Ms Storey, who was the driver, followed Mr Pidgeon's car into a cul-de-sac and blocked him in. Mr Russell, who was a passenger in her car, then got out and squirted acid at Mr Pidgeon through his open car window.

"There was no reason for what Mr Russell did to Mr Pidgeon and his cowardly use of acid as a weapon left Mr Pidgeon screaming in agony."

The couple were both convicted of applying a corrosive fluid on 3 June 2014 with intent to burn, maim, disfigure, disable or to do some grievous bodily harm to Mr Pidgeon. Mr Russell was sentenced to 12 years' imprisonment with a further five years on licence. Christina Storey was jailed for eight years

Miss Malhan said: "This is the second successful prosecution for an acid attack in Essex in five months and we will do all we can to prosecute these cases robustly and bring those who carry out these despicable attacks to justice.

"I would like to thank Mr Pidgeon for his bravery in giving evidence and reliving what must have been a traumatic experience. I hope the verdicts of the jury can give him some satisfaction that justice has been done."