The reflection of a man is now a constant reminder of the horrifying and unprovoked road rage attack that left him with “third-degree burns to five-percent of his body” after a couple threw acid on him, according to the Mirror. In 2014, 29-year-old Darren Pidgeon of Rayleigh, Essex was travelling in his vehicle when he suddenly had a close call with another vehicle at a traffic circle.
Darren Pidgeon tells how his son’s hugs helped him recover after acid attack | Daily Mail Online https://t.co/3wPI3FaXvu
— Bristol Common Sense (@BristolComSense) March 26, 2016
The vehicles never collided and no one was injured in the near-miss, but according to a source, the driver of the vehicle Christina Storey, 32, of Wickford, Essex became irate and followed the father of two with her 30-year-old boyfriend, Ashley Russell of Basildon, Essex. When Pidgeon reached a dead end, Storey blocked him so that he wouldn’t be able to back out. That’s when her boyfriend reportedly hopped out of the vehicle and began punching Pidgeon in a road rage attack before pouring acid on him.
In court, the acid attack victim stated that he “couldn’t get out. I would have to hit the car, which was parked to get out. There was no way I could get out. The punches were flowing, that is when he was getting angry. I was in a lot of pain.”
Pidgeon added that when the suspect threw the acid on him during the road rage attack, he said he “could feel it straight away, it was hurting, it was really hurting. I could feel it on my skin, I could feel it was burning. I have never felt anything like it before.”
“Why would someone do this to me?”
Two people have been charged in connection with the shocking acid attack on Darren Pidgeon: http://t.co/k4lObzdVOm
— Chloe Chapman (@Chloe_Echo) June 24, 2015
After the road rage acid attack, Pidgeon spent 24 days recuperating at Broomfield Hospital, where nurses warned him not to look at his reflection in the mirror just yet, but he disregarded their advice. He said when he looked in the mirror, he was in disbelief that he looked like “something out of a horror movie.”
“When I saw my reflection I thought my life was over. Half my face was gone,” he said.
According to the Daily Mail, Pidgeon’s 53-year-old father, Ray, said that “it’s been devastating” after the acid attack because his son hasn’t been himself.
But when it was time for Pidgeon’s children to visit him at the hospital, he stated that he was elated to see them, but was simultaneously nervous as he didn’t know how they would react to seeing his new face, especially when he hadn’t gotten acclimated to his new look.
— Changing Faces (@FaceEquality) March 25, 2016
However, much to his astonishment, his “oldest was a bit apprehensive at first, but then within minutes it was same old dad and son,” he said. “He gave me a hug just like normal. I was glad, because I knew he loved me no matter what I looked like.”
“He gave me a lot of hope for the future. I felt lucky, despite everything.”
Although both Storey – who is 12 weeks pregnant – and Russell denied throwing acid on the road rage victim, they were found guilty and a judge at Basildon Crown Court sentenced them to an aggregate of 25 years in prison – 17 years for Russel and eight years in prison for Storey.
The victim stated that “The near-miss which caused the attack was so minor. This happened completely at random,” and he said, “I’m happy I got justice, but when they come out they won’t be scarred. Three lives destroyed, all for what?”
After the horrifying road rage acid attack, Darren Pidgeon stated that although he has laser surgery every month to approve the condition and appearance of his skin, he still tries to avoid mirrors as much as possible. He is now hoping “for the sale of sulphuric acid to be licensed.”
[Image via Essex Police]