Parents of a young boy robbed a 19-year-old man in Brighton, spraying him in the face with ammonia and leaving him partially blind.
Mum Brooke Brennan, 21, smiled as she and ex-boyfriend Jordan Kelly were jailed today for their callous attack.
Both had pleaded guilty to robbery in relation to the March 10 incident, with Kelly also admitting applying a corrosive fluid with intent and two further robberies.
The pair - who have a three year old son together - appeared at Lewes Crown Court this afternoon.
Kelly snuck up behind victim and sprayed him with corrosive liquid
Prosecutor Daniel Stevenson said: “Joshua Prout left the house shortly before the incident and went to a bus.
“As he was walking a male and a female walked up to him.”
Brennan, of Graffham Close in Brighton, barged into 19-year-old Prout, causing him to turn around.
Kelly, of Lower Chalvington Place, Brighton, then snuck up behind him and sprayed a corrosive fluid in his face, causing immediate pain.
Victim 'stumbled away' in pain and unable to see
“Prout stumbled away and nearly got struck by a car.
“Unable to see where he was going, Prout entered an adjacent road and Mr Kelly came up to him and pressed an object up against him.”
He demanded the teenager hand over his wallet and phone and tell him his bank card PIN and phone passcode.
Kelly and Brennan then left the scene and tried unsuccessfully to withdraw money with Prout’s bank card at a local store.
The ammonia – which can be highly corrosive – caused severe damage to Prout’s left eye. The court heard that he cannot see properly through it and has been left with visible scarring for life.
'She did not go out with the intent to cause harm'
Kelly’s defence barrister Tom Nicholson Pratt said: “This defendant obviously comes from a pretty dysfunctional family.
“Being exposed to criminality as the norm and seeing violence on a particularly regular basis has really left him with no boundaries in that sense.”
He said that Kelly’s robberies stemmed from his drug and alcohol problems, problems that he is only now getting addressed in prison.
Brennan’s defence barrister Mark Kessler called for her to be given credit for her young age and immaturity.
He said that Brennan was ‘clearly shocked’ when she found out the extent of Mr Prout’s injuries.
“She did not go out with the intent to cause him harm.
“She has got drawn into this and she has got to pay the consequences of it.”
Judge: Savagery of the offences 'beggar belief'
Judge Christine Laing QC said the facts of the case ‘beggar belief’.
“Joshua Prout is a young man who was going about his own business. All he had you robbed from him.
“You used the ammonia before you even demanded the items from Mr Prout, before you even gave him the opportunity to hand them over without injury to himself.”
She told Brennan that the robbery was a joint enterprise in which she played a full part. However Judge Laing accepted that she may not have been aware how serious the fluid was.
Kelly was sentenced to 17 years – made up of a 12 year jail term and five years to be spent on licence. He must serve at least eight years in prison before he can apply for parole.
Brennan – who smiled as she was sentenced – was jailed for three years and four months.
Both will miss the first day of school for their three-year-old son.