Crawley cinema acid attack: Man admits assault

Samir Hussain Image copyright Samir Hussain
Image caption Samir Hussain told the BBC his eyelid no longer closed properly

A man involved in an unprovoked acid attack on a cinema-goer has been given a conditional discharge for his role.

Shop worker Samir Hussain was scarred for life when Michael McPherson threw sulphuric acid in his face outside Cineworld in Crawley, West Sussex.

Mr Hussain still wears a mask 18 months on, Brighton Magistrates' Court heard.

Lee Bates, who was with McPherson at the time, was sentenced after admitting common assault, while McPherson, who admitted GBH, will be sentenced later.

Mr Hussain's ordeal began when he and a friend, Yasir Khan, left a late-night showing of the film Straight Outta Compton at the complex in August 2015.

The court heard that they were approached outside the cinema by Bates and by McPherson, who told them: "You've seen a gangster movie; you can see gangsters now."

Image caption He said he was asked about his injuries many times a day at work

Steven Talbot Hadley, prosecuting, said Mr Hussain was punched by both men before McPherson retrieved a bottle of acid from his car and threw it in his victim's face.

Mr Hussain, who suffered severe burns to his face, neck and right arm, has had a number of skin grafts.

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Speaking to the BBC in July, Mr Hussain, 28, , from Redhill, Surrey, who works at a shop in Tunbridge Wells, said: "It is something I talk about on a daily basis."

He said he raised his hands to protect his face, which he believes saved his sight.

Image copyright Google
Image caption Mr Hussain was attacked after watching a late-night film at Cineworld in Crawley

Bates, 26, of Halston Close, south-west London, was given a two-year conditional discharge for punching Mr Hussain. The court heard he had already been on a curfew for 18 months.

McPherson, 27, also from south-west London, will be sentenced at a later date.

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