A man who threw bleach over a schoolgirl has been told he could have blinded his victim.
Regan Smith sent multiple Snapchat messages threatening the attack before carrying it out in Westleigh Road, Bilborough, on 15 April 2022.
Nottingham Crown Court heard he targeted the 15-year-old school student after she tried to stop him harassing a friend he was attracted to.
The bleach mostly went over the girl’s t-shirt (pictured) but also splashed her face, causing a burning sensation that lasted hours.
Regan, who was 18 at the time of the attack, then threatened to “smack” her if she didn’t move out of his way.
Following the attack, the victim went to a relative’s address before her mother called the police.
Officers arrested Smith that same evening after locating him in a pub and he was put before the courts.
At a hearing on Tuesday (9 January), prosecutor Steven Taylor said Smith, now 20, had decanted diluted bleach into a small bottle and took it to an address in Woodfield Road.
During the evening, he spotted the 15-year-old schoolgirl standing outside some shops with two other girls, including a 14-year-old who he considered to be his ex-girlfriend.
He then started messaging the 14-year-old on Snapchat from across the road and made a string of derogative remarks about the three of them, before threatening to attack them with bleach.
The three friends then decided to leave the road but were followed by Smith into Westleigh Road.
An argument broke out and Smith took out the bottle and threw the bleach at the 15-year-old.
The court heard most of the liquid went over the victim’s chest but also splashed her face, just missing her eye.
Smith, of Nottingham pleaded guilty to assault occasioning actual bodily harm and possessing an offensive weapon in a public place.
He was sentenced to 16 months in a young offender’s institution, suspended for two years. The judge told him he must also carry out 150 hours unpaid work and attend 10 rehabilitation activity days – and warned him he will be locked up if he commits any more offences in the next two years.
Judge Michael Auty KC told Smith his actions could have blinded his victim, adding:
“The risk of blinding your victim ought to have been overwhelmingly obvious.
“Just imagine for a moment how you would feel if somebody had done that to your mother, or someone you care for. You would be incandescent with rage and rightly so.
“You would demand that person go into custody. Why should it be any different with you?”
The judge went on to say he was able to suspend the custodial sentence because Smith had no previous convictions and had stayed out of trouble since the incident. He also gave him credit for pleading guilty and took into account his young age at the time of the offence.
Following the sentencing, Inspector David Platt, who oversaw the investigation, said:
“This was an appalling attack that left the victim fearing she’d had acid thrown in her face. It turned out to be bleach, which still caused a burning sensation that stung for hours.
“Thankfully, the bleach did not go in her eyes and Smith can consider himself extremely fortunate not to be facing more serious charges.
“That said, this incident still had a profound impact on the victim and left her with an ongoing anxiety of going out on her own in case Smith attacked her again.
“I hope she can take some comfort from today’s sentencing and is able to mentally recover from what was a truly awful ordeal.”