TODAY we have reported on a horrendous acid attack on a teenager who was on his way to the shops.

The 19-year-old was held at knifepoint and corrosive liquid was squirted in his face, causing burns.

He needed hospital treatment.

Acid attacks have become more common in recent years. Television presenter Katie Piper was a high-profile case as she suffered disfigurement.

Then a few weeks ago we heard about a shocking attack carried out by a father on his own son to spite the boy’s mother.

These incidents can sometimes be overshadowed by knife attacks, where often victims die from their injuries.

Along with the attack in Whitehawk, these crimes have one thing in common, they are cowardly.

For victims the effects can be traumatic and long lasting, not just in terms of damage to their physical appearance, but also crushing their ability to go about their daily business without fear of a future attack.

Whether it’s a family battle, a spurned lover, or arguments over drugs, there is no excuse for acid attacks.

Like knife crime, using acid is a weapon, and it is a sad state of affairs for our society that so many people seem to think it is acceptable to carry a weapon such as a knife or acid.

The rise in the use of these deadly weapons on our streets is extremely concerning.

Anyone found guilty of doing so in our courts should face the toughest possible penalty.

We can now only hope that the teenager affected makes a recovery and gets the help he needs, and that those accused of it are brought to justice.