Barking thug sentenced for callous 'acid' attack


A 17-year-old boy was today sentenced for an unprovoked attack in which he sprayed acid over five teenage boys - leaving some of them with permanent scarring and potentially life changing injuries.

Alexander Bassey, of Maplestead Road in Barking, was sentenced to eight years in prison at Basildon Crown Court.

He had pleaded guilty to three charges of causing Grievous Bodily Harm (GBH) and two charges of attempted GBH on Friday 15 July.

In the early hours of Sunday 22 May, the five teenage victims were waiting on a platform at Ockendon station in Essex when a train heading to Barking pulled in.

As the train was idle at the platform, Bassey beckoned towards the group of friends and encouraged them to join him on the train.

When the victims refused, Bassey exited the train and approached the group whilst yelling abuse at them. As he approached, he then exposed a bottle from behind his back and sprayed a highly corrosive substance over the group of friends, first thought to be an acid. He then ran back onto the train.

As a result of the assault, three of the victims received permanent scarring with one left with potentially life changing eye injuries. Likewise, all have been burdened with the psychological trauma of the attack.

Senior investigating officer Detective Sergeant Gail McKemmie said: "This was a vicious and cowardly attack carried out without a single ounce of care. Bassey had no apparent motive for the attack and showed absolutely no remorse when questioned by police. As such, he will now spend the next eight years in prison.

"Attacks like these are incredibly rare and we will always pursue offenders relentlessly to ensure convictions and make sure dangerous offenders are taken off the streets.

"I hope this sentence sends a very clear message: we will simply never stand for violence and aggression on the railway and will stop at nothing to bring violent offenders to justice."

Jason Corden-Bowen, District Crown Prosecutor from West Midlands Crown Prosecution Service, said: "The five victims were subjected to an unprovoked and callous attack which has left some of them with life-changing injuries.

"The teenage defendant in this case went out that evening with a bottle of highly corrosive industrial strength drain cleaner with the clear intention of harming someone.

"As the train carrying him stopped at Ockendon station, he saw the victims who had been celebrating at a party together and were waiting for their train home. He tried to entice them on to the train, but then got off, walked up to the teenagers, and without warning sprayed them in their faces with the liquid. He then ran back to the train to escape.

"All five victims suffered facial burns and some have been left with permanent scarring as a result of this senseless attack.

"The defendant was later identified as the attacker and he subsequently pleaded guilty to the attack. He will now have to deal with the consequences of his actions."