David Phillips went to the front door of Andrea Christopheros’ home on 9 December 2015 and threw a beaker filled with sulphuric acid at him.
Phillips had been due to stand trial for causing grievious bodily harm with intent, but he changed his plea to guilty on the first day of proceedings at Truro Crown Court.
When asked about Mr Christopheros’ state of mind following the attack, Superintendent Thorne said: “I think it is an extremely hard thing to come to terms with”.
Charges against Nicole Phillips, 45, of perverting the course of justice were then dropped by the prosecution. Her trial was halted, but the judge ruled the charge should remain on file.
His 45-year-old spouse wept in the dock – and seemed shocked by his confession.
‘It is essentially his first offence’.
He wore sunglasses and a face shield.
Exeter crown court heard that Phillips, a 49-year-old painter and decorator, travelled more than 300 miles to get to Christopheros’s home in Truro, Cornwall, falsely believing him to be a man who had wronged a member of his family.
A father of three has admitted causing grievous bodily harm with intent after blinding a businessman in a bungled doorstep acid attack.
“He felt a member of his family had been seriously hurt”.
“But he got the wrong address and injured the wrong person”. He said the sort of acid Phillips used was readily available. He is blind in one eye and partially sighted in the other.
He added the victim’s life had “tragically changed as a result of it, and that’s a lot to cope with”. Their son Theo was only 18 months old at the time.
He said Phillips had driven down alone in a red van from his home to launch the attack.
The officer said the inquiry had been hard because at first they could find no motive for the crime and Phillips refused to discuss the reasons for the attack.
Phillips – who is facing a long jail sentence – was remanded in custody.
Police said Phillips was motivated by revenge but turned up at the wrong address and, as a result, a totally innocent man was left “really damaged”.
Defending, Mohammed Bashir said: “There is underlying reasons why this offence occurred taking into account background and family life”.
The case was adjourned ahead of sentencing at Truro Crown Court on October 9.
Mr Christopheros is a property developer who is also involved in the entertainment business.
Privately educated, he attended King’s College in Taunton, Somerset, before graduating from Plymouth University.