Man jailed for throwing corrosive substance at two people

Graham had been arrested in Eastbourne on the evening of August 29th, 2020 after police had been called to a collision in St Anne’s Road. Credit: Sussex Police

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

39-year-old Frank Graham, of Upperton Road, Eastbourne, was sentenced to six years in prison when he appeared at Lewes Crown Court on Friday 11th June.

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 29th 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. They then tried to stop him leaving, and a second passer-by also came to help. Graham was then seen to unscrew the lid of a bottle and throw a liquid over both men before fleeing.

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

Police then carried out an extensive search for Graham 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 him.

He 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.