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Acid attacker was murderer freed from jail; High Court Shoppers watched on in horror.

Byline: Court reporter

A killer convicted of a murder in Coatbridge 11 years ago has been jailed for a cowardly acid attack on a man in a supermarket.

Thomas Charnley, 44, hurled liquid from a jar at a 38-year-old man in April.

His victim, who Charnley claimed had threatened him and his partner, suffered blisters to his skin as the liquid began to burn.

Charnley fled after the attack, which was captured on CCTV.

At the High Court in Glasgow last week he admitted assaulting the man to his severe injury.

Jailing Charnley for four years and five months, Judge Lord Burns told him: "This was a bad attack on a man in a public place with acid. It is fortunate he was not more seriously injured.

"I consider you pose a serious risk to the public."

Lord Burns ordered Charnley to be monitored in the community for three years after his release from prison.

Charnley was jailed for murder in 1997 after he beat a man to death.

He was initially freed from his life sentence in 2009, but was recalled to prison after getting into trouble and released for a second time in 2015.

Following his sentencing for the acid attack Charnley waved to family and friends as he was led away to the cells.

The court heard he threw the acid over his victim as they both shopped in a Scotmid store in Viewpark.

The stunned victim initially managed to grapple with Charnley as shocked workers looked on.

But staff had to come to his aid when the effect of the acid took hold. Blisters appeared on his head and neck and he went into shock.

Ronnie Renucci QC, defending, said Charnley had sold a dog to the man two years ago. They had not been in contact until a few weeks before the attack.

Mr Renucci told the court there was an issue between the men, including apparent threats being 'You pose a serious threat to the public' made to Charnley and his partner.

The lawyer added: "He cannot recall putting the jar in his pocket. He left the house and was going to buy beer. This is not a case where he left looking for trouble."

Charnley claimed that his victim had approached him in an aggressive manner but Lord Burns said: "This was not what the CCTV images showed."

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Publication:Airdrie and Coatbridge Advertiser (Lanarkshire, Scotland)
Date:Nov 28, 2018
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