A shoplifter who squirted corrosive liquid from a Lucozade bottle at workers who confronted him has been jailed.

Julian Harvey-Bernard. 26, who claimed to have been shoplifting to raise money for food, splashed ammonia in the faces of two shop workers at Lewisham Shopping Centre in December 2016.

Harvey-Bernard was confronted by staff when a security tag alarm was activated in a sports store. He squired one of the workers in the face with the corrosive liquid before fleeing.

The thief was then chased by a second worker, who also had ammonia squirted into their face.

Both victims needs hospital treatment for their injuries.

Police tracked down Harvey-Bernard to Belmarsh Prison in March last year, when he was on remand for an unrelated offence of possessing ammonia.

Investigating officer DC Paul De Waal, of Lewisham CID, said: “During police interview Harvey-Bernard claimed to have been shoplifting to raise cash to buy food. He said that he planned only to use the ammonia in order to effect a fast escape and not to actually injure anybody.

"This conviction clearly demonstrates that there is no justification for inflicting potentially blinding injuries.

“Anyone considering carrying or using corrosive fluids as a weapon should take heed of today’s conviction.”

Harvey-Bernard pleaded guilty to throwing a corrosive fluid, shoplifting and possessing mmonia.

He was sentenced at Woolwich Crown Court to three years in prison.