A man has been jailed after being found guilty of throwing a corrosive substance at two people in Eastbourne.

Frank Graham, 39, unemployed, of Upperton Road, Eastbourne, was sentenced to six years’ imprisonment when he appeared at Lewes Crown Court on Friday (June 11).

He had been found guilty by a jury of two counts of throwing a corrosive fluid with intent to burn / maim / disable / disfigure / do grievous bodily harm. He also pleaded guilty to possession of a Class A drug and possession of a Class B drug.

Graham had been arrested on the evening of August 29, 2020 after police had been called to a collision in St Anne’s Road earlier that day.

Witnesses reported seeing a Renault Megane being driven by Graham crash into parked vehicles shortly before 9am, before flipping onto its roof.

As a member of the public approached the car to see if the driver needed help, Graham told him not to phone the police and attempted to leave the scene.

The member of the public tried to stop him leaving, and a second passer-by also approached to help. Graham was then seen to unscrew the lid of a bottle and throw a liquid over both men before running from the scene.

An off-duty nurse came to the aid of the victims by rinsing them with water and providing a change of clothes, and both were thankfully left with no serious lasting injuries.

Officers carried out an extensive search for Graham during the day, but with no trace. Police on patrol later saw and arrested him that evening.

He was found in possession of cannabis and a search of his home address later uncovered a quantity of cocaine. A bottle cap recovered from the scene was also forensically linked to Graham.

Graham was charged and stood trial on May 6, 2021. He was found not guilty of aggravated vehicle taking, but guilty of the other charges.

He was jailed for six years, with a further two years to be served on extended licence.

DC Fareed Camar, of Eastbourne CID, said: “This was a horrendous crime in which two people who were simply trying to help, were attacked with a corrosive substance.

“Although it is lucky they didn’t suffer more serious physical injuries, there will be a lasting emotional impact as a result of what happened.

“Frank Graham didn’t care about how much harm he caused, and I am pleased to see the severity of the offence reflected in his sentence.”