11:43am Monday 3rd March 2014
THE mother of a man who is still suffering after an ammonia attack four years ago has called for harsher sentences and stricter licence conditions for those whose crimes maim for life.
Tracey Brown, whose son Dorian Neale had ammonia thrown in his eyes while out in Newport city centre in August 2010, spoke out after reading the Argus’ story about Chris Collins, a former professional archer who lost an eye in a vicious attack by two strangers on New Year’s Day.
Mr Collins’ attackers, a 15-year-old who cannot be named, and 18-year-old Jay Lloyd, of Cedar Drive, Rogerstone, received a six-month-referral order and three years behind bars respectively.
Earlier this month Mr Collins slammed the sentences as “a joke” and “a kick in the guts”, while the judge sentencing Lloyd criticised the Crown Prosecution Service for bringing a charge which limited his sentencing powers.
Mr Neale was out in Newport city centre four years ago when a 23-year-old squirted ammonia into his eyes and punched him.
Blinded and separated from his friends, Mr Neale was found by police near Newport railway station and screamed with pain as his eyes were washed out in hospital.
The forklift truck driver, now 31, was later diagnosed with scarred corneas and still visits Newport’s Royal Gwent for eye drops to dilate his pupils and help him see.
His attacker, who pleaded guilty to two counts of actual bodily harm on the day his trial was due to start, was sentenced to two years behind bars in 2012, a sentence which Mrs Brown said made her feel “badly let down”.
Mr Neale did not wish to speak to the Argus but Mrs Brown said he supported her comments.
“Dorian lost his sight for a few months and was in agony,” said the mum-of-five from Cwmbran.
“I looked after him, guided him around the house and put eye drops in for him every hour. It was so painful for him sometimes I used to go into the next room and just cry.
“[The sentence his attacker received] makes me really angry,” she said, adding that she agreed such offenders should be given tougher sentences and stricter licence conditions.
“My heart goes out to Mr Collins, where is the justice? You are never the same and it has a long-term effect on the family.
“It is making a mockery of [the justice system], giving them the right to inflict this and get away with it. Police are powerless on breaches. People get more for damaging property. It’s disheartening to the victims.”
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