13/11/2017 14:40 GMT | Updated 20/12/2017 09:47 GMT

Arthur Collins, Ex-Boyfriend Of Ferne McCann, Found Guilty Of Acid Attack

A total of 22 people reported injuries to the police.

Arthur Collins, the ex-boyfriend of reality TV star Ferne McCann, has been found guilty at Wood Green Crown Court of an acid attack in a London nightclub.

The 25-year-old faced five counts of grievous bodily harm with intent, and nine counts of actual bodily harm against 14 people.

Collins, from Broxbourne, Hertfordshire, will be sentenced on Tuesday, 19 December at the same court.

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Arthur Collins.

Following a dispute at Mangle, in Hackney, at about 1.15am on Monday, April 17, 22 people reported injuries to the police, 16 of whom suffered serious burns.

Both the London Fire Brigade and London Ambulance Service also attended.

Police said that in the immediate aftermath of the incident there were fears that the eye injuries of three of the victims were so severe that their vision could be permanently affected.

Although this proved not to be the case, one of the victims told the court that he still suffers blurred vision in one of his eyes.

The court heard that Collins got into an altercation with a group of men on the dancefloor at the club shortly before 1am. 

He was captured on CCTV grabbing a bottle containing the noxious substance from the back pocket of an unidentified man, and throwing the substance towards the face of one of the men he was arguing with.

After the man dropped to the floor, Collins squirted the contents of the bottle twice more.

Victims described seeing “steam” rise above them and an all pervasive chemical smell which made them choke.

Collins, who also sustained burn injuries from the acid used, stayed at the club for nearly another hour until about 1.50am.

He was captured on camera after the attack appearing to laugh.

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The Mangle nightclub in Dalston, east London, where the attack took place.

During the trial, the jury heard that Collins sent a message six days prior to the attack to his sister in which he warned: “Mind that little hand wash in my car ACID.”

But Collins claimed in court that the message referred to a shampoo containing amino acid and coconut oil that he was worried about his nieces finding and biting it.

He said that he kept it in his car to hide the fact that he had a hair transplant from his girlfriend - now mother of his child.

Collins was arrested at an address in Rushden, Northamptonshire on Saturday, April 22, after evading attempts by officers to locate and detain him following a media appeal naming him as wanted by police.

Detective Chief Superintendent Simon Laurence, Hackney Borough commander, said: “Collins went to the nightclub that night with a bottle of a noxious substance with the intent to use it to inflict serious harm.

“He indiscriminately and recklessly sprayed the substance in a crowded place, knowing full well the danger this would pose to a large number of people. This was a barbaric and cowardly act.

“Furthermore, Collins stayed in the nightclub for an hour after the attack as police and emergency services arrived to tend to the victims, seemingly without a care for the 16 people against whom he had inflicted serious injuries upon.

“Collins, knowing he was wanted in connection with this offence and that the net was closing in on him, tried to evade officers but he was ultimately arrested and taken into custody. He now faces spending a significant length of time behind bars.

“I would personally like to thank the victims for their strength and bravery; in being forced by Collins to give evidence during the trial, they have had to re-live that night.

“I can only hope that their continuing strength will enable them to face the rest of their lives in a normal as possible way. I hope that at least they will take some solace from knowing that Collins will be going to prison.”

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Handout CCTV images dated iossued by Metropolitan Police of Arthur Collins in the Mangle E8 in Dalston, east London.

Earlier on Monday, Andre Phoenix was cleared of all charged against him after being accused of helping Collins carry out the attack.

Phoenix, of Clyde Road, Tottenham, north London, was caught on CCTV apparently holding Collins’ arms as he sprayed the liquid at revellers on April 17.

In his evidence, he told the jury that he had only stepped in to separate Collins and another male when they started squaring up to one another.

Phoenix said he would just “knock them out” if someone angered him, adding: “I don’t roll with acid.”

He was also burned by the substance and was captured on CCTV asking Collins to examine his face and washing himself with a bottle of water.

Phoenix attended the Whittington Hospital in Archway, north London, the following day for treatment.

Phoenix wept in the dock as the jury’s verdict was read out and turned to look at his mother, who was present throughout the trial.