The Lakeside footbridge where the attack happened (Credit: Google Maps)
The victims initially heard the sound of glass smashing on the footbridge between Chafford Hundred station and the shopping centre in February.
They were shouted at by Callum Kitson, 18, of Grays, who tried to goad them into a fight while armed with a knuckleduster.
His 17-year-old accomplice was armed with a bottle with a clear liquid inside which he squirted at the faces of three of the men.
It immediately began burning their eyes and skin while the fourth man chased the attackers. He was also squirted in the face with the noxious substance.
Fortunately, emergency services arrived and none of them suffered lasting damage.
A 17-year-old, who can’t be named for legal reasons, admitted to four counts of administering a poison to endanger life or inflict grievous bodily harm at Basildon Crown Court.
He later admitted to four separate charges of possession with intent to supply heroin, crack cocaine, cocaine, and cannabis; two counts of being concerned in the supply of class A drugs, and one count of being concerned in the supply of class B drugs.
He was sentenced to a total of three years and 11 months in a young offender institution yesterday and also ordered to pay £547.47 in compensation.
Kitson admitted to possession of an offensive weapon and affray at the same court. He was sentenced to a two-year community order and must attend an accredited programme for 30 days, complete 30 days of rehabilitation activity and 50 hours of unpaid work.
“This was a completely unprovoked and cowardly attack,” said PC, Ed Gosling.
“Kitson and the teenager reacted violently, just because the victims had turned around when they heard a glass bottle being dropped and smashed.
“The victims did not know them and had tried to walk away from a confrontation.
“Fortunately incidents such are these are rare but it doesn’t take away from the fact this was frightening and needless.
“By pleading guilty, the two defendants have at least spared their victims the further ordeal of having to give evidence in court.
“I hope today’s sentence gives them and the community some reassurance.”
Tags: Grays, Thurrock, Lakeside
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