A DAD scarred for life after acid was thrown over him in a case of mistaken identity feels “let down” after his attacker was released to a cushy open prison.
Andreas Christopheros, 35, was horrified to learn that the man who left him severely disfigured is now allowed to walk free – just SIX years after the attack.
Property developer Andreas was at his Cornwall home in December 2014 when David Phillips knocked on the door, hoping to take revenge on a man who had sexually assaulted someone close to him.
But Phillips got the wrong address, flinging the battery acid on innocent Andreas’ face and changing the dad’s life forever.
Phillips admitted causing grievous bodily harm with intent and was jailed for life with a minimum of seven years in October 2015.
A judge ruled during the case that he was a danger to the public – but appeals later quashed the life term and replaced it with a 16 year sentence.
But Andreas – who was left permanently blind in one eye after attack – has said he felt “sickened” when he learned Phillips had been moved to the open prison.
Andreas will have to have ten years of reconstructive surgery on his face after the attack left him in a coma for four days.
The dad-of-two from Truro, Cornwall, said: “How can he be let out so soon? How can he do what he did and only spend five and a half years behind actual bars.
“I feel massively let down by the justice system. I will have to continue having surgery for the best part of my life.
“The fact he can already spend time outside jail, enjoying good weather and seeing his family back in his home county is an extremely low blow, when I am still needing regular surgery.
“He is now allowed to apply for a job and can start to rebuild his life.
“He did something which was horrific and stupid and the fact he got the wrong person is all the evidence you need why you don't do something like this.
“He did what he did and the police did their job while the NHS saved my life.
“But then the judges did not do what they should – and give out a sentence to fit the crime.
“I don't shoulder a huge amount of anger towards Phillips. I would like him to pay for crime but my anger is towards the people in the justice system who have let me down."
Andreas’ anger is directed towards the High Court judges who slashed Phillips’ original sentence.
He is now campaigning for tougher sentencing as he lives with the consequences of his attacker’s horrific actions.
He said: "I am still having regular surgery and routinely will for a very long time.
"In a way the old me died when he threw acid in my face. It is what it is and I am not the sort of person to lie down and be broken by it.
"But it is fair to say my life up to the point of the attack was completely different to what it is now.
"I have had to rebuild a whole new life since. There is so much less I am able to do. I can't play with the kids as much. I can't go out in the evening.”
Two years ago, Andreas revealed his joy at becoming a father for the second time, four years on from the acid attack that almost claimed his life.
The birth of baby Lazarus marked a new chapter for the dad and wife Pia, 38, who said the family was “stronger than ever”.
Andreas added: "It has had a big effect on my life. I am not one to let it break me but life in every single aspect imaginable has been much more difficult.
"The struggle is never going to end – I won't get my eyesight back and I will always have facial scars – there is no way to fully heal them and they are injuries I will carry for the rest of my life.
"But I have an amazingly strong wife and amazing friends – thank god for good friends and family."
A Ministry of Justice spokesperson said: "Acid attacks devastate lives and leave victims with both emotional and physical scars and our thoughts remain with Mr Christopheros.
"Since this appalling case, we have made it an offence to carry these substances in public, banned their sale to under-18s, and brought in minimum custodial sentences to ensure the cowards who use acids as weapons face the full force of the law."
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