The Acid Thrower’s Assistance Pack

The headline to a story in the Times of 29 September caught my eye: ‘Acid attacker drove 300 miles for revenge but got the wrong man’
Apparently, then, there was a right man to have got with his acid attack. A painter and decorator called David Phillips drove from Cornwall to Sussex and threw acid in the face of a property developer called Andreas Christopheros, who was disfigured by the attack, blinded in one eye and
nearly blinded in the other. Apparently Phillips believed that a member of his family had been seriously harmed (the story did not specify in what way) and sought revenge. However, Mr Christopheros was not the man upon whom he sought revenge.
The comments of the prosecutor in the case and of the senior police
officer who investigated it were of particular interest to me. The prosecutor,
Philip Lee, said: The crown’s case has always been that Mr Christopheros was an
innocent man who was targeted wrongly.
The corollary of this seems to be that there was a guilty man who might
have been rightly targeted – presumably disfigured and nearly blinded. This
throws a curious light on the state’s supposed monopoly on the use of force.
The policeman in charge of the case, Chief Inspector David Thorne,
had another angle: We believe it was a revenge attack… He [the accused] felt a member
of his family had been seriously hurt. He thought he had the right address but it turns out he was in completely the wrong area. The whole thing was ill-prepared and ill-thought out. The end result is
an innocent victim has been left with serious, life-changing injuries. Ah, if only the right man had been maimed in this way, how little there would have been to complain of! Acid-throwers of the world, please ensure you throw your acid in the right face! Plan your attacks carefully in advance
and prepare them with all due forethought!
Perhaps there is only one solution to this kind of terrible mistake: in the name of harm-reduction to provide at public expense all those who want to throw acid in the faces of their enemies with up-to-date and accurate GPS systems. If only this had been done, Mr Christopheros would have sustained no life-changing injuries. I suggest, then, that every police station in the land
have a supply of such systems to hand out in advance to all potential acid attackers.
The way forward is clear.

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