Man who was doused in acid for no reason says he has been given a “life sentence”

Samir Hussain, a phone shop manager who was doused in acid after leaving the cinema has revealed the horrific burns he suffered and has said he has been given ‘life sentence.’

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Michael McPherson, 26, of Tooting Bec, South London and Lee Bates, 25, of Clapham, South West London, appeared in court for the attack.

McPherson pleaded guilty to wounding with intent and assault by beating but pleaded not guilty to having an offensive weapon while Bates denied all charges against him.

Samir Hussain was attacked without any reason in Crawley Leisure Park in West Sussex on August 30 2015.

He has now spoken about the life changing incident for the first time and described his ‘agony’ he experienced as the acid burned into his flesh.

He said if he had not shielded his face he would have been blinded by the attack.

Mr Hussain has undergone plastic surgery and several skin grafts since the attack and must wear a mask for the next 18 months to help flatten the scarring.

He has lost sensation in parts of his face, arms and neck and cannot close one of his eyes properly.

Mr Hussain said: “About 90 per cent of those people ask what happened and I live through it again and again and again.

“It comes to a point where you have to disconnect from your emotions otherwise I think about it all the time. It’s made me a person I don’t want to be.”

He was off work for 3 months but forced himself to return so he can continue a normal life.

“I had to force myself to go back, I didn’t want the attackers to win,” he said.

“I had to go back out there, I had bills to pay. It was probably a good thing, because I had to deal with people straight away.

“But it makes everything generally hard and it is hard to converse. Now (because of the facial injuries) people can’t tell if I am joking or smiling or being sarcastic.”

Mr Hussain added that he has had to come with terms with people staring at him in the street.

He said: “I have had it for quite a long time but, for others, it is a big shock because they don’t see this every day.

“You have to learn to live with that. I don’t have a choice. When I got out to a normal place, like a restaurant, I am a bit, I would not say wary, but it does make me think about other people more.”

Mr Hussain, who has two sisters, has to massage his face and arms for two hours every day.

He will be left with the scarring for the rest of his life but the mask will help flatten the scarring overtime and he will also need treatment for the next few years.

Mr Hussain has also supported calls for tighter control on sale of substances such as sulphuric acid.

James Berry, Conservative MP, has said people buying dangerous substances should be made to pay using debit or credit cards so their details are on record and any suspicious purchases must be reported to police.

Bates was bailed and will face a trial on February 6, next year.

McPherson was remanded in custody and will be sentenced after the conclusion of Bates’s trial.

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