Acid hell thug will be jailed

Telly star’s ex guilty of club as­sault

Daily Star - - Front Page - By ALEXAN­DER BROWN alex.brown@dai­lystar.co.uk

TOWIE beauty Ferne McCann’s ex-boyfriend is fac­ing years be­hind bars for an acid at­tack in a packed night­club.

Arthur Collins, 25, was found guilty yes­ter­day over the in­ci­dent which left 16 peo­ple with se­ri­ous burns.

THE ex-boyfriend of Ferne McCann is fac­ing years be­hind bars for a hor­rific acid at­tack.

Arthur Collins was yes­ter­day found guilty of in­jur­ing 22 peo­ple in one of the worst in­ci­dents of its kind.

The dad of the Towie star’s new­born daugh­ter was cel­e­brat­ing her preg­nancy at the time of the as­sault.

Among the vic­tims, 16 suf­fered chem­i­cal burns and three said they were tem­po­rar­ily blinded.

The at­tack is thought to have been part of a feud that spilled over into the Man­gle E8 club in Dal­ston, east Lon­don. Ciro D’Alessio, prose­cut­ing, de­scribed it as a “gangland war that has un­for­tu­nately drawn mem­bers of the pub­lic into it”.

CCTV footage played in court showed club­bers clutch­ing their faces and run­ning off the dance­floor to pour wa­ter on their burn­ing skin.

The sub­stance was found to have a rat­ing of pH1, the strong­est and sim­i­lar to bat­tery acid.

Scars

Vic­tims de­scribed how their skin be­gan “blis­ter­ing straight away”. They also com­plained of the men­tal strain they suf­fered.

So­phie Hall said her “face was ru­ined”, while model Iso­bella Fraser said she was now “really wor­ried” about her ca­reer.

Phoebe Ge­or­giou, 23, told jurors she needed ther­apy af­ter suf­fer­ing burns to her chest and arms.

Speak­ing from be­hind a screen, she said: “Now I have a life sen­tence to deal with, with scars and men­tal in­juries. “I’m deal­ing with such bad anx­i­ety, panic at­tacks and sleep paral­y­sis.”

Lau­ren Trent was cel­e­brat­ing her 22nd birth­day with friends at the time. She said: “It was like when you open a can of coke, you hear this siss­ing, hiss­ing sound, like an aerosol. “The liq­uid touched my neck and it in­stantly started burn­ing and my skin was com­ing off in my hands.” Collins had ad­mit­ted throw­ing a liq­uid, but claimed it was a date rape drug he was get­ting rid of af­ter snatch­ing it from two men.

How­ever, he had texted his sis­ter the week be­fore, warn­ing her he had acid in his car.

Af­ter the at­tack, he went on the run for six days, be­fore be­ing caught by po­lice at a house in Northamp­ton­shire.

Be­cause he went on the run, Collins was forced to wear “un­usual cloth­ing” through­out his trial so he could be spot­ted if he broke free.

Af­ter the ar­rest, po­lice found a cannabis farm at his home, along with weapons in­clud­ing a Taser and two cans of CS gas.

Collins was found guilty of five counts of GBH with in­tent, and nine of ABH.

Judge Noel Lu­cas QC set a sen­tenc­ing date of De­cem­ber 19, and de­scribed the mat­ter as “very se­ri­ous”.

He told Wood Green Crown Court: “There’s no sen­tence to be passed ex­cept for a very sig­nif­i­cant one.”

A cage fighter ac­cused of help­ing Collins was cleared of all charges. An­dre Phoenix, 21, stepped in to try to stop the at­tack.

GUILTY: At­tacker Collins

WOR­RIED: Model Iso­bella

RU­INED: So­phie be­fore the at­tack

THER­APY: Phoebe ban­daged up

IN­JURED: Lau­ren and her scars

®Ê HUNK TO THUG: Collins with Ferne. Below, her with their baby and Collins at the club

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