Man with acid at Eastleigh station walks free from court

Benjamin Bray was 16 when he was spotted in a “distressed” state with his clothes “disintegrating” at Eastleigh railway station.

Acid was leaking from a bottle in his bag with one passerby spotting “white marks on his coat”.

He was arrested and charged with causing grievous bodily harm, assaulting occasioning actual bodily harm, and possessing a weapon – the acid.

But these offences were dropped with Bray admitting to damaging a coat and the carpet behind the driver’s cab. He also admitted possession of a weapon capable of discharging a noxious substance.

Daily Echo: Benjamin BrayBenjamin Bray (Image: Newsquest)

READ MORE: Emergency services rush to Eastleigh station after boy injured by ‘noxious substance’

Prosecuting, Michael Mason said police were called after eyewitnesses saw Bray in distress. Mr Mason said his “(Bray’s) clothes were disintegrating” and a “corrosive substance” was leaking from his bag.

He said: “Acid damage was found on the carpet behind the driver’s cab on the train.

“One man who was waiting for a train was simply standing by the platform and he remembers seeing Mr Bray.

“He noticed liquid on his own shoulder, which left white marks on his coat.”

Mr Mason said Bray was found with a plastic bottle containing sulphuric acid.

He said: “The bottle was found and analysed and it contained sulphuric acid. But it was not found to be specifically adapted to be an offensive weapon.”

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The incident happened on November 21 in 2019.

Addressing Bray, of Larcombe Road in Petersfield, Judge Peter Henry said: “The prosecution couldn’t previously proceed with a charge of possessing an offensive weapon.

“It seems to me the prosecution should’ve charged you under the Act which makes it an offence to own an offensive weapon, this being acid.

“But my hands are currently tied. I have taken into account the fact you pleaded guilty to both counts, the fact you have ADHD, and that you have apparently turned your life around.

“You will be given an 18-month community order and will have to take part in a Thinking Skills programme.

“You will have rehabilitation activity for 10 sessions and a period of trail monitoring for one or two months.

“And you are going to pay some compensation.

“This includes £150 for the victim’s coat which must be paid in 28 days.”

Daily Echo: Emergency services on the scene at Eastleigh Station in 2019Emergency services on the scene at Eastleigh Station in 2019 (Image: Newsquest)

Mitigating, John Dyer said the defendant “had no idea” that what he was carrying was corrosive.

He also spoke of Bray’s remorse.

Mr Dyer said: “Mr Bray will assist the court fully as to why he was doing such a stupid thing.

“He was given the substance by others and had no idea that what he was carrying was going to be so corrosive.

“He himself has scarring on his legs as a result of this and they will forever remind him of the stupidity of that day.

“Had the acid been in its original packaging, nothing would have happened.”

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