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Lowestoft acid attack victim Adele Bellis calls for harsher sentences

PUBLISHED: 10:51 16 October 2017 | UPDATED: 11:25 16 October 2017

Lowestoft acid attack victim Adele Bellis. Picture: James Bass

Lowestoft acid attack victim Adele Bellis. Picture: James Bass

An acid attack victim has branded the proposed punishments for those found in possession of a corrosive substance as “pathetic”.

Adele Bellis, of Lowestoft, made the comments after the Home Office’s suggestion that people caught carrying acid in public twice should receive a mandatory six-month sentence.

Ms Bellis said: “I think it’s a start. But to get caught with acid twice and receive six months in prison is pathetic.

“Why twice? Once should be enough to mean they automatically go to prison.”

She added: “By the second time it may already be too late.”

Ms Bellis was waiting at a bus stop in August 2014 when a man called Jason Harrison threw sulphuric acid at her.

He had been paid £500 by her ex-boyfriend Anthony Riley to carry out the attack.

The beautician was left with severe scarring and lost an ear in the incident.

The 25-year-old believes such changes in the law will be ineffective because of the ease with which acid can be disguised.

She said: “When it happened to me it came from a drink bottle.

“Acid is such an easy substance to conceal I don’t see how they are going to police it.”

Attacks with a corrosive substance are usually charged as grievous bodily harm (GBH) but Ms Bellis says they should be categorised as a separate offence entirely.

She believes the only way to effectively curb the rise in acid attacks is through harsher sentencing for those who conspire and carry out the attacks.

She said: “If there was a high sentence I think people would think twice about carrying out these attacks.”

She added: “We are scarred for life so they should be jailed for life.

“It may be physical scars or it may psychological scars but we are left scarred.

“Not only us, but everyone around us, our friends and family.”

The survivor also remains unconvinced the government’s plans to ban the sales of corrosive substances to under-18s will have the intended impact.

She said: “If someone wants to get acid, they are going to get it anyway, it doesn’t matter if they are under 18.”

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