JUST days after impressing on his officers the importance of teamwork and looking after each other a Leyland police sergeant found himself fighting for breath, his eyesight and ultimately his life.

Working as a response officer in Blackburn for 22 years Sgt Andy Gore had been on countless 999 calls.

But it was a call to Ash Grove, Darwen, on April 16, which ‘ruined his life as it was’.

He had an ammonia-based chemical thrown in his face by Paul Elliott, while responding to one such emergency.

And as Elliott begins an 18-and-a-half-year jail term, Sgt Gore has detailed the aftermath for himself and his family.

The attack has left the father-of-four partially sighted in his left eye at present and battling just to get some vision restored.

The once confident, self-assured officer has been transformed into one who is now dependant on care, and severely restricted by medication, physical impairments and financial hardship.

It has also left the 44-year-old, who was being supported by senior management last summer to be promoted to inspector, to wonder what career progression or roles with Lancashire Police are available to him.

A dedicated family man, Sgt Gore said as a result of the life-changing injuries caused, he has missed being able to attend key milestones in his children’s lives, such as his son’s first football match. And he has had to cope with the realisation that his children would now see him as vulnerable.

Speaking about the attack, Sgt Gore said: “I attended an incident at work where chemicals, which are believed to be ammonia-based, were thrown into my face. I can honestly say this was the worst point in my life. Everything changed at this point.

“At the point of assault I was walking upstairs, I fell to the floor and fell down the stairs. I then blacked out and when I awoke, had complete sensory failure. I regained my composure leaning against a sink. I had the most horrendous pain in my mouth, nose, face and eyes. I genuinely thought I was going to die."

He was rushed to hospital by colleagues but has since faced at least two failed operations to restore the sight in his left eye. The officer is now awaiting possible stem cell surgery.

Sgt Gore has also thanked the hundreds of strangers across the UK who offered support in the wake of the attack.