A DRINK-DRIVER attacked two men with corrosive liquid when they tried to detain him after he flipped his car over in a crash.

Frank Graham lost control of a Renault in St Anne’s Road, Eastbourne.

Witnesses Anthony Lamb and Philip Shrimpton quickly ran to provide help and see if he was injured.

But they realised Graham was likely to be drunk, and tried to hold him until police arrived.

The 39-year-old threw ammonia over them from a bottle he had on him.

It went into both men’s eyes causing pain and distress, and Graham them fled the scene.

But he was caught and arrested for the “cowardly, selfish and despicable” act.

At Lewes Crown Court Graham was found guilty of throwing or casting corrosive fluid with the intent to burn, maim, disfigure, disable or do grievous bodily harm to the two men.

The Argus: Lewes Crown CourtLewes Crown Court

He admitted possessing cannabis and cocaine, and drink-driving.

His Honour Judge Stephen Mooney imposed a six-year prison sentence, but said Graham was also a high risk of causing danger to the public.

It means the thug will have to serve at least two thirds of his sentence before he can be considered for parole, and will also be on licence after his release for an extra two years.

Daniel Jones, prosecuting, said the incident unfolded in Eastbourne on August 29 last year.

He said Mr Lamb experienced “excruciating pain” as ammonia went into his eyes, but has since made a full recovery.

Mr Shrimpton still suffers from blurred vision.

Paul Walker, defending, said his client had a difficult upbringing, being beaten by his father and effectively abandoned in Ghana as a teenager.

He was also the victim of a drive-by shooting where his friend was killed in a car, the court heard.

The Argus: Frank Graham has been jailed over the incident in EastbourneFrank Graham has been jailed over the incident in Eastbourne

Judge Mooney told Graham it was a “miracle” that he was not injured in the car crash, and that nobody else was hurt.

“Having seen what happened, a number of well meaning members of the public came to your aid,” the judge said.

“They offered you assistance, but when it became apparent you had been drinking, they again demonstrated enormous public spirit as they tried to detain you until police arrived.

The Argus: Drink driver Frank Graham caused this crash in St Anne's Road, EastbourneDrink driver Frank Graham caused this crash in St Anne's Road, Eastbourne

“You took out a small bottle with ammonia in it and sprayed Mr Lamb and Mr Shrimpton. It was absolutely appalling.

“You had taken the bottle of ammonia with you regularly, and you were clearly anticipating that you were going to use it.

“But you are a man of considerable stature, much larger than the victims, you could easily have pushed them off to escape.

“By throwing the ammonia you did not care how much harm you did. It was a cowardly, selfish, and despicable act and it was completely unnecessary.”

Graham, of Upperton Road, Eastbourne, is now behind bars.