A BAR manager has been left partially sighted after an attacker sprayed a noxious substance into his face.

Tommy Powell, 26, was standing outside the premises when it happened and ran back inside screaming for help.

The assault happened after an altercation in the bar which resulted in two men being escorted out.

Julia Wakelin, who works with Tommy at Bar Blue in Pevensey Road, Eastbourne, witnessed the horrific attack which happened on Friday night.

It is not known exactly what kind of substance was used.

The Argus: Tommy's injuries

Julia said: "There had been an incident in the bar so I just went out to see what was going on outside, I could see something wasn't quite right, and to see if Tommy needed help.

"It was just as I opened the door that he got sprayed and I remember thinking that I had been hit as well because the fumes immediately made my eyes burn, made my nose burn, made my throat burn.

"In that split second I thought, oh my god, something really terrible has just happened."

Julia, 28, said the attack was fast and two other men were also caught in the spray. One of them, Blue Leon, was standing next to Tommy at the time.

Julia said: "Tommy is scrambling to get through the door, he just tears off his clothes. He throws himself at the bar and he's screaming 'water water'. He can't breathe properly, he can't see.

"That image is going to stick with me for the rest of my life.

The Argus: Tommy's injuries

"Meanwhile, Blue Leon collapses to the floor outside the bar because of the pain.

"We were just throwing water at them, I'm grabbing pint glasses and screaming to the customers to 'get water, get water, go to the bathrooms get water'.

"Of course you keep revisiting it in your head, you're thinking what could I have done differently? What if I did this, or what if I did that? It was just horrible, horrible."

Tommy sustained severe injuries to his corneas which will take time to heal. He needs daily hospital appointments.

On Monday he was told the lacerations in his left eye were improving but there is damage to the stem cells which may mean surgery is required.

He has very limited vision in his right eye. 

Julia said: "Blue was also badly injured and has a laceration to one of his corneas.

"He is understandably traumatised over this."

The Argus: Police would like to speak to this man in relation to the incident.Police would like to speak to this man in relation to the incident.

Police have issued a picture of a man they would like to speak to in connection with the attack.

They said: "An unknown liquid was sprayed into the face of a 26-year-old local man outside Blue Bar Café in Pevensey Road around 10.50pm on Friday.

"The victim was taken to hospital for treatment and has since been discharged to continue his recovery at home.

Two other men were also hit with the substance and received immediate first aid. All three reported experiencing pain and discomfort to their eyes. Detectives are continuing enquiries to gather evidence."

Anyone who recognises the man or has any information about the incident is urged to report it to police online or call them on 101, quoting serial 1393 of 11/02.

Julia has set up a GoFundMe page to help Tommy pay his rent and bills while he is off work and it has already raised nearly £3,000.

To donate: www.gofundme.com/f/m95pk-tommys-recovery-fund

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