The ex-boyfriend of reality TV Star Ferne McCann has been found guilty of carrying out an acid attack at a Dalston nightclub.
Arthur Collins from Hertfordshire injured 16 people at Mangle E8 nightclub in April this year and was today convicted by a jury at Wood Green Crown Court of five counts of grievous bodily harm and nine counts of actual bodily harm.
While the 25-year-old admitted throwing a bottle of fluid, he claimed he didn’t know it was acid. He told the court that he thought the substance was a date rape drug and snatched it off two men to prevent them spiking another girl’s drink.
CCTV footage of the incident released after the verdict shows Collins grabbing a bottle from the back pocket of another man before throwing the liquid towards someone’s face, who convulses in pain. Collins was then seen squirting the contents of the bottle twice more around the club.
Collins was out celebrating the announcement that his then-girlfriend and The Only Way is Essex star Ferne McCann was pregnant with their child. She gave birth to a daughter recently but the couple are no longer together.
One of the victims, Lauren Trent, was out celebrating her 22nd birthday and suffered third-degree burns to her neck, chest, legs and stomach. She has since called for tougher sentences for anyone convicted of an acid attack. She said: “Victims have to live with those scars for life, so why shouldn’t that be justified with a life sentence?”
Collins was seen on CCTV outside the East London nightclub before the incident and at around 1 am revellers were seen clutching their faces and running from the dancefloor after the liquid had been sprayed.
He was not apprehended until a few days after the incident and was tasered by armed police after he tried to flee from an upstairs window of a house in Higham Ferrers, Northamptonshire.
In December 2015 Collins was convicted of actual bodily harm after he punched another man in a nightclub.
Collins will be sentenced on December 19.